Slightly more than a third (35 per cent) of working Canadians aged 50 and older say they can afford to retire when they want, according to a new report by the Toronto Metropolitan University’s National Institute on Ageing.

The survey, which polled more than 5,800 Canadians aged 50 and older, found two-fifths (39 per cent) said they’re not in the financial position to retire, up slightly from 2022 (35 per cent). Roughly a quarter (26 per cent) were unsure whether they could afford to retire at their desired time. Notably, just half of Canadians aged 80 and older who are still working also said they can afford to retire as planned.

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The rising cost of living (70 per cent) was the No. 1 financial concern among respondents, followed by running out of money (46 per cent), a possible reduction in government benefits (37 per cent), not being able to afford major medical or long-term care expenses (32 per cent), not having family or friends to help take care of them as they get older (26 per cent), costly home repairs or renovations (23 per cent), not being able to help other family members financially (21 per cent), not being able to leave money to family members or others (17 per cent) and a major real estate or stock market crisis (12 per cent).

Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of respondents aged 50 to 64 said they’re still working or looking for work and this group was less likely to be retired or on a disability pension (31 per cent) than respondents aged 65 to 79 and 80 years and older (82 per cent and 94 per cent, respectively).

While 62 per cent of all respondents who are still working said they intend to retire, the survey noted these respondents are at different stages of thinking and planning for their retirement. A quarter (25 per cent) of these respondents said they have no interest or intention of retiring and five per cent reported they’re currently in the process of retiring.

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