Canadian employees who rent or who have mortgage payments are managing economic pressures — like high interest rates and the rising cost of living — by putting off saving for retirement, according to a new survey by Co‑operators Financial Services Ltd.

The survey, which polled 1,500 Canadian employees, found 77 per cent of renters said they either haven’t started saving for retirement or they’ve saved less than they planned to by their current age. Among those with mortgage payments, half (51 per cent) reported saving less than they planned. By contrast, three-quarters (76 per cent) of respondents who are mortgage-free homeowners said they’ve been able to save as much or more than they planned to by now.

While more than half (57 per cent) of mortgage-free homeowners were confident their registered retirement savings plan and other savings will fund their retirement, just 28 per cent of mortgage holders and 22 per cent of renters believed their RRSP and savings will be enough.

Read: Half of U.S. employees say they’ve stopped or reduced retirement savings amid rising inflation: survey

Faced with the increased cost of housing and lending rates, two-fifths (43 per cent) of renters and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of mortgage holders said they’re unsure how they’ll fund their retirement. Notably, 13 per cent of mortgage-free homeowners were also uncertain.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of mortgage holders and 38 per cent of renters reported expecting to work either full or part time past the traditional retirement age of 65, compared to only 24 per cent of mortgage-free homeowners.

Half of respondents said they have a financial plan. The most common perceived barriers to investment for those without a plan were that they don’t have enough to invest (27 per cent), investing is too complicated (22 per cent) and they don’t know where to start (14 per cent).

“These survey results show Canadians are facing a tough choice — paying for living expenses today or putting some money away for tomorrow,” said Jessica Baker, the Co-operators’ executive vice-president of retail wealth, in a press release. “But by setting aside their long-term goals, they’re risking a bleak future. The fact of the matter is, it’s not a question of either-or.”

Read: How is rising inflation impacting retirement savings?