June 3, 2024

Why are Canadians retiring later?

A recent article in Kamloops Now reports that Canadians are retiring later and later.

As recently as 2000, the article notes, Canadians – on average – retired at age 60. “By 2020, that had crept up to 63.25,” Kamloops Now notes.

Why the change in retirement timing?

“Retirement is tricky,” the article begins.

“Not only do you have to have enough money to not work, but you have to decide if retirement is actually for you,” it continues. “Maybe, if you don’t have a job, you’ll be bored, unfulfilled and aimless,” the article adds.

The figures cited by Kamloops Now come from www.agecalculator.com, “which crunched numbers provided by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the international agency that shapes policies for prosperity, equality and opportunity for all.”

The trend towards later retirement, the article notes, can be seen in a number of countries. In Bulgaria, the average age for retirement jumped from age 56 in 2000 to 63 in 2020, the publication reports.

“Thirty-eight of the 51 countries included in the study saw average retirement age climb, while in 13 countries, people have been retiring earlier,” the article points out.

The biggest drop for countries where folks are leaving the workforce earlier was in Colombia, where in 2000, the average retirement age was 69.7, Kamloops Now reports. As of 2020, they are retiring on average at age 63.5.

“A scan down the list shows 2020’s youngest average retirement age is in South Africa, where people are calling it quits at 58.2, while the oldest average is in Indonesia where you have to stick it out to 68.95,” the publication notes.

A release from agecalculator.com is cited in the article, and provides a bit more insight on the “whys” of this later retirement trend in most industrialized countries.

“Some of these include the extension of people’s life expectancy, which has increased thanks to medical advancements, economic pressures that translate into people not being able to retire comfortably because of the rising cost of living, and shifting demographics, such as declining birthrates and aging populations,” the release states.

Kamloops Now provides some additional thoughts on what’s behind later retirement.

“Remember the Freedom 55 campaign by London Life Insurance Company launched in 1984 that ran for 25 years encouraging people to plan and save for early retirement? To many that’s an unattainable goal,” the article notes.

“Plus, people started to realize if they were to live for 30 years after retirement, they could very well run out of cash. The cost of living, led by soaring house prices, is high and many haven’t saved enough to retire early,” Kamloops Now continues.

“Even if you do have enough money, you should enter retirement cautiously at any age,” the article concludes, noting “people need purpose and if you suddenly stop working you might be bored or start to feel pointless. After all, there’s only so much travel, golf and pickleball that you can do.”

It’s a very valid point that the author makes, here. There’s the money side of retirement – do you have enough to cover the bills you’ll face when you stop working – as well as the lifestyle side. Do you have a plan for what to do with all that extra time?

If you’re saving for retirement, perhaps on your own or through a workplace plan, you’re covering off the money side nicely. If not – or if you want to save even more for retirement – take a look at the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. SPP is ideally suited for individuals or groups. Contributions are invested in a low-cost, professionally managed pooled fund. When it’s time to hang up the ID badge and log out for the last time, SPP offers you options such as a lifetime monthly annuity payment, or our flexible Variable Benefit.

Check out SPP 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.


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