Most Canadians unsure how much money they’ll need for retirement: survey

While Canadians said they plan to retire, on average, at age 62, 59 per cent said they can’t estimate how much money they’ll need to enjoy a comfortable retirement, according to a new survey by BMO Financial Group.

The survey of 1,500 Canadians also found only half of respondents are hopeful they’ll have enough money and be debt-free by the time they reach retirement. A quarter (25 per cent) said they don’t know when they’ll retire, while 10 per cent said they don’t think they’ll ever be able to.

Read: Survey finds half of Canadian pre-retirees plan to work in retirement

Millennial survey respondents said they expect they’ll need an average of $1.7 million to retire, compared to baby boomers, who believe they’ll require less than $1 million. Comparing genders, female survey respondents said they’ll need $1.2 million, on average, to retire, compared to men, at an average of $1.4 million.

The survey also found 69 per cent of respondents have a registered retirement savings plan, compared to 60 per cent in last year’s survey. And the average account balance sits at $111,922. Provincially, Ontarians have the highest average account balance, at $128,742, followed by Albertans at $116,426. Canadians in the Prairies have the lowest average account balance, at $92,127.

“The financial equation for retirement is changing and Canadians need to consider many variables when determining how much they need to fund the next chapter of their lives,” said Robert Armstrong, director of multi-asset solutions at BMO Global Asset Management, in a press release. 

Read: Millennials facing challenges saving for retirement: survey