Generation gap exists in optimism about retirement: study

While Canadians aged 18 to 34 are the most likely age group to believe their standard of living will increase in retirement, they’re also the least likely to have started saving for it, according to a study by the Ontario Securities Commission.

The study, which polled 2,259 Canadians aged 18 and older, found 39 per cent of all respondents believe their standard of living will improve in retirement, compared to just eight per cent of those aged 55 and older. But the 18 to 34 age group, 43 per cent of women and 34 per cent of men haven’t started saving for retirement. As well, those in the lowest income bracket, who make less than $60,000 annually, are also less likely to have started saving.

“Unexpected events, from family and health challenges to market turbulence, can have a major impact on our financial lives,” said Tyler Fleming, director of the investor office at the Ontario Securities Commission. “By planning for the long term, we can place ourselves in a better position to respond to these events.”

Read: Surveys show pension concerns for both Canadian millennials, seniors

About one-fifth (22 per cent) of all survey respondents rated their level of financial stress as high or very high. Women were more likely to rate their level of financial stress as high or very high, with 33 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 and 30 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 doing so.

For those looking ahead to retirement, 55 per cent said they’re likely to continue working at least part time or occasionally in their retirement years.

The survey also asked how people have prepared or are preparing for retirement. The top responses included a company pension plan (36 per cent), investment and saving (34 per cent) and receiving registered retirement savings plan contributions through an employer (17 per cent).

Read: Majority of Canadians worried about level of retirement savings: survey