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Cdns Worried About Retirement


September 2, 2003

OTTAWA (CP) -- Lack of money for retirement worries many Canadians, a Statistics Canada survey indicates.

About one-third of people aged 45 to 59 don't think they have set enough aside to maintain their standard of living in retirement, the agency reported Tuesday.

And few people surveyed in 2002 expected to retire before age 60.

Only 22 per cent planned to leave work before age 60, and only 44 per cent planned to retire before age 65. The largest share, 45 per cent, planned to retire between 60 and 65.

"Only three per cent said they plan on retiring after 65. The remaining 31 per cent said either that they don't know when they plan on retiring, or that they do not intend to retire," the agency found.

The average planned retirement age of 60.8 years is similar to the current average age of retirement of 61.2.

When it came to retirement income, more women than men felt they weren't setting enough aside.

Thirty-three per cent of women compared with 29 per cent of men expected their retirement income to be inadequate, or barely adequate to maintain their standard of living.

The survey, which covered almost 25,000 individuals over age 45, also found that retirement concerns "were most prevalent among people who did not have private pension coverage, who did not own their home, who had lower personal and household incomes, and who had fewer weeks of employment during the year.

"People who were widowed, separated or divorced were far more likely to feel that their financial preparations were inadequate, compared with those who were married or living in a common-law relationship."

Immigrants arriving since 1980 were much more likely than others to be concerned about their financial preparations.

Forty-seven per cent of non-retired immigrants aged 45 to 59 reported that they did not know when they planned to retire, or that they did not intend to retire.

Statistics Canada also found that "about 12 per cent of Canadians aged 45 to 59 did not know when they plan to retire, while an additional 18 per cent said that they did not intend to ever retire.

"Together, these two groups represent nearly 1.4 million people, almost one-third (31 per cent) of all non-retired Canadians aged 45 to 59."

Census data indicate that slightly more than six million people were aged 45 to 59 in 2001.

"In the next decade, as the baby boomers move through their 50s and 60s, more Canadians than ever before will be poised to make the transition to retirement."

The agency also found that those with personal incomes of less than $20,000 were almost three times as likely to say they did not intend to retire as individuals with personal incomes of $40,000 or more.

"Similarly, intentions to forego retirement were more prevalent among individuals who did not own their home than among those who did." 

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