In the face of unexpected financial hardship, 27% of Canadian men would consider dipping into their retirement savings, compared with just 23% of women, according to a study.

But HSBC’s survey, The Future of Retirement: A new reality, finds that only 40% of Canadians save regularly.

However, relying on savings is not the only avenue people pursue when unexpected financial problems strike. One alternative that was explored by the survey is moving to a smaller house. In that case, genders have a similar approach. Nineteen percent of men and 21% of women would consider downsizing during rough times.

The study reveals that home ownership has placed a financial strain on many Canadians. Twenty-seven percent say that buying a home or paying a mortgage has significantly affected their ability to put aside money for retirement. The same number of respondents say that losing a job, incurring debt or encountering a severe financial problem would pose a similar savings threat.

Another alternative to downsizing reported by 33% of respondents is tapping into other savings and investments. Selling valuables would be an option for 17%. However, not all people are willing to part with their assets. To avoid that, 18% of survey participants report that they would consider borrowing. And 14% would turn to friends and family for help.

The HSBC survey polled more than 15,000 consumers in 15 countries.

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Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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