SEPT 26: BEST FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
September 26, 2022
Canadians “retiring in droves,” with nurses and truckers leading the way
For decades, economists and pundits have predicted that a “grey tsunami” of boomer retirements would cause all kinds of collateral damage, such as increased healthcare costs and hikes in government spending on things like Old Age Security.
Well, according to Reuters, we may be about to find out if those decades-old predictions might come true.
The Reuters article calls it The Great Retirement.
“Canada’s labour force grew in August, but it fell the previous two months and remains smaller than before the summer as tens of thousands of people simply stopped working. Much of this can be chalked up to more Canadians than ever retiring,” the Reuters article reports, citing data from Statistics Canada.
And, the article continues, it’s not so much older Boomers who are hitting the silk on work, but “a record number of Canadians aged 55 to 64” who have retired in the last year.
“That is hastening a mass exodus of Canada’s most highly skilled workers, leaving businesses scrambling, helping push wages sharply higher and threatening to further drag down the country’s sagging productivity,” Reuters adds, citing the views of economists.
“We knew from a long time ago that this wave was coming, that we would get into this moment,” states Jimmy Jean, chief economist at Desjardins Group, in the Reuters article. “And it’s only going to intensify in the coming years.”
“The risk you have, and in some sectors you’re already seeing it, is that people are leaving without there being enough younger workers to take over. So there’s a loss of human capital and knowledge,” Jean tells Reuters.
Another slightly alarming stat revealed in the Reuters piece is that those of us who are still working are older, with one in five Canadian workers being age 55 or older. So there are many, many more workers who are entering the retirement zone.
So who specifically is retiring? Reuters says nurses and truckers are leading the way to the exits. An eye-popping 34,400 folks have retired from healthcare jobs since May, the article reports, and the Ontario Nurses’ Association’s Catherine Hoy says many of these retirements were unexpected.
The pressure on healthcare workers, particularly nurses, was intense during the pandemic – and the same is true for truckers, the article notes.
Older truckers – who, like nurses, were crucial workers during the early pandemic years – are leaving the profession, creating vacancies and a huge demand for new blood in the field. Many truckers are hired right after completing their training, the article notes.
“Without trucks and people to drive trucks … goods will sit at ports and in warehouses as opposed to getting to the destination where they can be consumed,” warns Tony Reeder of Trans-Canada College in the Reuters article.
This is a very revealing article. We have noticed that almost everywhere we go, help wanted signs are out. As well, you see certain places – local restaurants are an example – that have cut back their hours due to a lack of staff. It will be very interesting to see how this wave of Boomer retirements plays out – hopefully it will create the chance for better jobs for younger people.
You can’t, of course, contemplate retirement without having some sort of plan to finance your golden years. There are many ways to save, including workplace pension programs, but not every Canadian has access to a pension. If you are looking for a way to save on your own for your work-free future, take a look at the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. It’s available to any Canadian with registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) room.
With SPP, you can contribute any amount you want (up to $7,000 per year), and you can transfer up to $10,000 from other RRSPs into SPP. SPP’s role will be to grow your savings for you via low-cost, pooled investing. And once you’re ready to escape the work world, SPP has several options for your retirement income needs, including the chance of getting a lifetime monthly annuity payment. Check them out today!
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Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.