I really don’t think it’s all pension related...
Over the past month or so there’s been a lot of talk about retirement age, pensions and how people will afford to make a go of it when they reach that point. This is something all of us – provided we make it to our golden years – will have to think about.
So of course, this has all led up to a survey which naturally came in with the result that the majority of Canadians fully expect to be working past the age of 66. Definitely, there will be some lumped into this category who will be working begrudgingly. (Unless that lotto win pans out, I’m thinking I will be one.) But on the flip side, we’re living in different times. Kids stay at home longer (much longer). They branch out on their own later, usually better educated and with more financial support. People are living longer and they’re now equipped with the means and knowledge to live healthier lives. Healthcare has improved – albeit we still have issues in this area – but it has most certainly come a long way. There are 70 plus year olds running marathons. Last week there was a couple who made news headlines because they married when one half of the couple turned one hundred. Yes one hundred! The fact is, there are vibrant seniors who are living far longer than in the past and they’re not just existing, they’re active and enjoying life. I’m betting I couldn’t keep up with some of them. And good for them! The point is, some of these people choose to work because they LIKE what they do. It keeps them young and if you ask me, that should be their choice.
What would be nice though, is if it were all simply a matter of choice. By 66 the typical adult has put in a lot of years of work and if it’s their choice, they should be able to spend the latter part of their lives slowing down, or travelling, or whatever the case may be. But many won’t have this choice. “Canadian retirement expectations are changing with many planning to work longer and almost half of Canadians looking to phase in their retirement,” says Kevin Dougherty, president of Sun Life Financial Canada – initiator of the recent Canada-wide poll.
“These results are not surprising given the current economic volatility, increasing consumer debt loads, rising health care costs, longer life expectancy and lack of planning. We’re also finding that some Canadians believe they’ll have to work longer to be able to pay for basic living expenses.”
It takes a lot of people to make the world go ‘round, hopefully, no one gets left out when, and if, our wheels start turning a little slower.