Retirement Realities

In 2021, Canadians’ average retirement age was 64.4 years old, according to Statistics Canada; in 2020, it was 64.5 years — the highest it had been since 1986.

Even so, many retirees end up returning to work. In fact, of those retiring in their early 60s, 47 per cent of men and 41 per cent of women became re-employed in the next 10 years, according to a Statistics Canada report in 2014.

Here’s why:

  • Financial Security – lack of savings/investments and rising inflation
    • More than six in 10 Canadians (62 per cent) aged 55 and older said they delayed or planned to delay their retirement because they don’t have enough savings and investments to fund it,according to a June 16 survey by Angus Reid and 54 per cent said they were doing so due to rapidly rising inflation.
    • “People are living longer and … there’s a real worry among older Canadians that they will outlive their money,” Bill VanGorder says, noting that people used to live roughly 10 years after retiring at age 65, so they had less to plan for than today’s seniors, who can expect to live into their 80s or 90s.
    • Lack of defined-benefit plans or corporate pensions indexed to inflation.  Read what actions CARP is taking on this.
  • Engagement – older people like to contribute, work, and be involved.
    • CARP’s work on this has indicated older workers want to continue using the skills and expertise they built up during their working years, or explore other interests and passions they didn’t have the opportunity for in their career.
    • Helen Hirsch Spence, chief executive of Top Sixty Over Sixty, a consultant that helps businesses adapt to an aging workforce and offers workshops and coaching for individuals, said older Canadians may also stay in the workforce as a way to remain connected to their social networks.

While older workers are badly needed in an increasingly tight labour market (Statistics Canada in late May reported there was a record one million unfilled positions as of March), employers still have work to do in abandoning stereotypes and realizing the value older employees bring to their workplaces.

Read more in the news.

More about CARP and retirement.