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Canadians expect to work longer

Canadians are less optimistic about retirement as the recovery from the global recession continues.

The average Canadian expects to retire at age 68, according to the 2011 Canadian Unretirement Index, released by Sun Life Financial. That’s three years later than respondents reported in the same study a year ago.

The downturn has had the most significant impact on the retirement expectations among those earning less than $50,000 per year.

They’re less confident about how prepared they are for retirement, and they expect to retire later – at age 70 on average – as a result. Canadians who earn more than $100,000 expect, on average, to retire at the traditional age of 65.

Income is also a factor when it comes to retirement activities.Those with incomes more than $100,000 are inclined to cite personal fulfillment for continuing to work: 71 per cent say they’ll work past age 65 to stay mentally active, and 60 per cent say they’ll keep working because they enjoy their job or career.

Many of those making less than $50,000 per year (68 per cent) say a main reason for working past age 65 is to earn enough money to pay for basic living expenses.

As Canadians age and approach the traditional retirement time frame, they anticipate working longer than younger Canadians predict.

Canadians in their 30s and 40s expect to retire at age 67. In the 60-65 age group, the expected retirement age rises to almost 72.

Gender also plays a role in our views of retirement:

While just over half (55 per cent) of all men and women expect to be working to some extent past age 65, more men than women expect to be working full time (24 per cent of men versus. 17 per cent of women).

Timing for retirement is also different, with men expecting to work almost two years longer until they retire (close to age 69 for men versus approximately age 67 for women).



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