June 10, 2024

Traditional retirement “an outdated concept,” younger Canadians say

Working away until age 65, getting the gold watch and the retirement party, and then travelling and having fun – a Boomer view of life after work – is seen as an “outdated concept” by younger people, reports The Daily Hive.

“A Leger survey commissioned by Canadian investment service Wealthsimple found that nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 44 feel the conventional approach to retirement — to stop working at 65 years old to then enjoy travelling, leisure and time with family and friends — is an outdated concept,” the publication reports.

Instead, The Daily Hive reports, younger Canadians surveyed revealed “an ambition among millennials and Gen Z Canadians for `a modern form of retirement’ that lets them pursue personal and professional passions throughout their adult lives.”

Say that again?

“Essentially, the path to retirement is no longer linear, but a mix of work, travel, volunteering and entrepreneurial pursuits,” the publication explains.

“It’s a new perspective on the future driven by younger generations. They are looking for flexibility, personalization and control over their future, rather than feeling controlled by conventional wisdom,” states Wealthsimple CEO Mike Katchen in the article.

The other interesting thing in this new “non-linear” approach is that it calls for early retirement, too.

“The survey also found that early retirement (before the age of 55) has emerged as the go-to plan among 25 to 44-year-olds so they can start their own business, work at not-for-profits, or pursue a passion project — basically, not live to work for someone else,” The Daily Hive article notes.

While factors like “soaring inflation” and the high cost of home ownership are cited as obstacles in the article, more than half of those surveyed plan “self-directed investment options to support their long-term financial goals.”

And, the article concludes, more than half of the 1,500 younger Canadians surveyed “feel that investing has given them more flexibility and choice.”

It’s not surprising to see the traditional path to retirement being questioned by the younger folks. As Boomers, we watched our parents work away at long-term jobs with good pensions, all the while paying down the mortgage on their more affordable homes, and then retiring at 65.

Not as easy for those of us of Boomer age to retire debt and mortgage-free – so you see more Boomers hanging onto their jobs longer, hoping to make the math work for living on less. Many choose part-time or contract work in retirement.

If the survey results hold true, the younger folks plan to save and invest at a greater rate than their parents, and then move out of traditional work earlier – sounds like a good plan to us!

If you’ve got money squirrelled away in a bunch of different registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), the Saskatchewan Pension Plan may offer you a way to consolidate your nest egg. With SPP, you can transfer in any RRSP amount from other accounts. Once your funds are in SPP, which is a provincially run, not-for-profit retirement program, they will be professionally managed at a low fee, and your choices at retirement will include a lifetime monthly annuity payment or the 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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