A growing number of pre-retirees are planning to delay their retirement past age 65, according to a new survey by Fidelity Investments Inc.

The survey, which polled more than 1,900 Canadians, found fewer than 38 per cent of respondents said they’re planning to retire by age 65, compared to about 42 per cent who said the same in 2020. Indeed, close to a quarter (about 22 per cent) said they’re planning to retire after age 65.

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When asked what’s holding them back from retiring, just over half (56 per cent) of respondents said they’re concerned with the cost of living or that they won’t have enough saved to retire as early as they’d like (53 per cent). Slightly more than a third (34 per cent) said they haven’t really planned for retirement and are unsure what they’d do and another 30 per cent said they’re afraid they won’t have enough to do after retirement.

Additionally, 62 per cent of pre-retirees polled said they believe they’ll have to continue working to some degree after retirement, whereas 38 per cent said they won’t. Financial reasons for working in retirement included to make extra money so they can do the things they want (62 per cent), while 11 per cent cited the need to support themselves and their spouse or other family members. Notably, 21 per cent said they don’t think they’ll need to work but would like the additional security that comes from employment income.

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At the same time, the survey found Canadians are viewing their retirement future more favourably since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of respondents noted the pandemic hasn’t influenced when they’ll retire, while 11 per cent said it’s led them to retire earlier and 21 per cent said the pandemic has led them to retire later than planned.

As well, among respondents who are currently working, fewer than 30 per cent said their salary has decreased as a result of the pandemic, a significant drop from the 40 per cent who said the same in 2020. More than 60 per cent said their salary has stayed the same, while just under 10 per cent said it’s increased.

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents said they believe the financial well-being of their household will improve over the next year, while about 15 per cent believe it will deteriorate. And 68 per cent of pre-retirees said they’re feeling positive about life in retirement, compared to a third (32 per cent) who said the opposite.

Read: A quarter of Canadians delaying retirement due to pandemic: survey