POST Online Media Lite Edition


Growing number of Canadians unprepared for retirement

Staff Writer |
For many working Canadians, the days of having one career with one organization have disappeared.

Instead, an increasing number of workers are joining the "Flexforce" – a group that comprises gig workers, job jumpers and postponed professionals, who are redefining what traditional employment looks like.

And as the face of Canada's workforce changes, so does the ability to manage finances and plan for retirement.

According to a recent TD survey, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Flexforce Canadians anticipate needing to work into their senior years because they won't have enough saved for retirement.

More specifically, nearly three-quarters of these same Canadians (72 percent) are finding it difficult to save for retirement, while four in ten (41 percent) are not sure when they'll retire given their employment situation.

This naturally leaves a large and growing group of Canadians following unconventional career paths feeling uncertain (47 percent) and worried (34 percent) about their future, with only a small number (11 percent) claiming to feel secure about saving for retirement.

"Planning for retirement can be overwhelming in any circumstance, but it becomes even more challenging when it's tied to the uncertainty that accompanies Flexforce employment," says Jennifer Diplock, Associate Vice President, Personal Savings and Investing at TD Canada Trust.

"An increasing number of Canadians are choosing temporary or non-traditional employment and are having to rethink retirement – specifically what retirement will look like for them and what steps they'll need to take in order to feel confident about achieving their retirement goals."

When it comes to retirement goals, 55 percent of Flexforce Canadians say they are not able to save as much as they need to each year to meet their goals, with over three-quarters (76 percent) wishing they made financial contributions at an earlier age.

Canadians report that the top three factors holding them back from contributing to their retirement savings include day-to-day bills and expenses (49 percent), paying off existing debt (32 percent), and paying for their lifestyle (27 percent).

"Today's changing workforce brings a number of variables and unpredictability, so building a strong foundation can help steer you in the right direction," says Diplock.

"Many employers no longer offer a pension plan and the onus now falls on employees to not only self-fund their retirement, but to also determine how much money they'll need and how to save for it.

This shift in planning for retirement can be daunting, which is why it's more important than ever to have a personalized plan in place to help make your retirement whatever you want it to be."

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