What does retirement look like today?

Author: Sound Choices

February 5, 2018

The content in the article below is meant for Canadian investors only.



Gain a better understanding of what retirement looks like for Canadians with these key stats.

Your retirement will look a lot different than your parents’ retirement. In fact, your retirement will probably look different than everyone else’s because your lifestyle and goals are unique to you.

There are, however, some major retirement trends unfolding. And getting a better understanding of these changes will help you plan for your retirement.

1. We are not on track

46% of Canadians over 55 say they’re falling short in their saving for retirement and 1-in-6 haven’t started.1

2. We are retiring early

The majority of us are not working through retirement. Actually, we are retiring early. The average retirement age in Canada is 63.2

3. We are living longer

It’s quite extraordinary: every year that goes by, Canadians live longer. At age 65, the average lifespan of men and women is now 84 and 87, respectively.3

4. Health care is a major concern

2/3 of Canadians say the biggest concern they have as they get older is their health – yet less than 1/4 have planned or saved for health-care costs in retirement.4 And 1-in-15 Canadians over the age of 70 are also providing some form of care for seniors with long-term health issues.5

5. People are retiring with mortgages

In a significant change from what was the historical norm, about half of Canadians are carrying a mortgage into retirement.6

6. “Encore” jobs are on the rise

With longer retirements come the desire to find fulfilling activities. While many retirees use their retirement to travel and spend time with their friends and families, others return full- or part-time to the workforce – and not out of necessity. Encore jobs7 will be a distinct possibility for many Canadians who are not yet retired.

While retiring early and living longer can both be good, they underscore the need to start planning early. Contributing to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) are two of the best ways to make sure you’re on track for retirement.


To learn more about saving and investing for your retirement, talk to your financial advisor.

1Source: RBC Financial Independence in Retirement Poll, February 2017.
2Source: Statistics Canada. Table 282-0051 – Labour Force Survey estimates (LFS), retirement age by class of worker and sex, annual (years), CANSIM (database)
3Source: Statistics Canada. Table 102-0512 – Life expectancy, at birth and at age 65, by sex and by province and territory, CANSIM (database)
4Source: Sun Life Financial Canada, Sun Life Canadian Health Index survey, 2014
5Source: Alzheimer’s Society of Canada
6Source: Half of Canadians plan to retire with mortgage: survey, Financial Post, May 16, 2012.
7Source: “Encore jobs” a new trend in retirement, Toronto Star, August 24, 2014.

The contents of this Web site are provided for informational and educational purposes, and are not intended to provide specific individual advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax. Please consult with your own professional advisor on your particular circumstances.

More articles like this.

Effective fixed-income diversification matters

Diversification, often considered to be the cornerstone of investing, is just as important within a fixed-income portfolio as it is in an equity portfolio.

Read More

5 facts about fixed income

Fixed income investing seems straightforward. But here are five reasons why working with financial professionals makes sense.

Read More

Understand interest-rate risk

Investors usually look to fixed-income investments to provide a safe haven from equity market fluctuations. However, investors need to be aware of the risks associated with fixed-income investments.

Read More