Boomers – dreams and realities about retirement

Boomers – dreams and realities about retirement

Of course you are optimistic about your retirement. But are you be realistic about your health and finances in retirement?

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Boomers are often optimists – but, according to a recent survey*, they can also be unrealistic about their health and the state of their finances in retirement.

The survey found that 97% of respondents described their current health level as good, very good, or excellent and 86% expect to retire in good health – and yet, the survey revealed that 61% of employees over age 50 actually suffer from one or more chronic health conditions. The most common conditions were hypertension, arthritis, high cholesterol, diabetes and mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.

Where finances are concerned, more than a third of survey respondents reported that they save 10% or less of their current salary for retirement yet, in retirement, they plan to withdraw a yearly average of 15% from their savings – or more than four times the typically recommended rate of withdrawal.

Boomers – dreams and realities about retirement

The main take-aways from this survey are obvious:

  • Many Boomers may need to be more realistic about their health and the escalating healthcare costs they are likely to face in retirement.
  • Many should save more for retirement.
  • And, in retirement, they must have a sound financial plan that allows them to pursue the lifestyle they want while ensuring their financial resources will last for all their retirement years.

Boomers are rapidly heading toward (or are already in) retirement – but it’s never too late to plan for a secure financial future. Here are a few tips for doing so that apply to Boomers and, equally, to working Canadians of any age.

  • Begin saving as early as possible – and save regularly.
  • Avoid bad debt that doesn’t generate income or increase your net worth
  • Invest intelligently – especially in registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs).
  • Be sure that you have adequate insurance coverage for any health/medical challenges that may arise – especially disability, critical illness and long-term care insurance. Keep in mind that healthcare costs generally increase with age.
  • Have a plan that includes a realistic budget for your retirement years, coupled with a realistic withdrawal strategy. Maintain an emergency fund to deal with any surprises (health and otherwise). Be sure your plan includes a provision for inflation.
Boomers – dreams and realities about retirement

And, most importantly, get advice. Your professional advisor can provide the expertise and realistic assessment you need to create and implement a financial plan that will work for you, regardless of your age, for a lifetime.


This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc.(in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact your Investors Group Consultant. Insurance products and services are distributed by I.G. Insurance Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm). Insurance licence sponsored by The Great-West Life Assurance Company outside of Québec.