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Should 67 become the new 65?
While many of us were brought up expecting Freedom 55, a new report by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries suggests we might all enjoy things better if it was Freedom 67.
The report, featured in Benefits Canada points out that since Canadians are working longer and therefore, retiring later, government benefits should be pushed out farther into the future.
“Canadians are living longer than ever, and many are choosing to work beyond age 65,” John Dark, president of the CIA, states in the article. “It makes sense to update our country’s retirement income programs to reflect this fact.”
Save with SPP interviewed Dark about the research, you can find that story here.
The article notes that men now live nearly 19.9 years after age 65 on average, and women, 22.5. This longer life expectancy, coupled with people working longer, is the reason given for considering system changes, the article states.
The changes the CIA suggests are moving CPP/QPP and OAS “full” benefits from age 65 to 67. The earliest you could get benefits would move from 60 to 62, and the latest from 70 to 75, the article notes.
“In addition to the financial benefit of receiving higher lifetime retirement income, our proposal provides financial protection for retirees against the cost of living longer and the significant erosion of savings from the effects of inflation,” states Jacques Tremblay, a fellow of the CIA, in the article.
Moving the age of benefits has been tried before. There are important considerations to take into account. First, are people working longer because they want to, or because they can’t afford to retire? Moving the goalpost on those benefits may not help people in that boat.
And secondly, we can’t assume that everyone is healthy enough to work past 65 and into their 70s. It will be interesting to see if the CIA’s recommendations are heeded by government.
Retirement’s value outweighs all financial concerns
Many authors have noted that the value of actually being retired outweighs most financial concerns about getting there.
From the Wow4U blog here are some great quotes about retirement.
“We work all our lives so we can retire – so we can do what we want with our time – and the way we define or spend our time defines who we are and what we value.” Bruce Linton
“The joy of retirement comes in those everyday pursuits that embrace the joy of life; to experience daily the freedom to invest one’s life-long knowledge for the betterment of others; and, to allocate time to pursuits that only received, in years of working, a fleeting moment.” Byron Pulsife
“Retirement life is different because there is no set routine. You are able to let the day unfold as it should. Enjoy, be happy and live each day.” Suzanne Steel
Whatever happens, if anything, to government benefits, it’s a wise idea to put money away for your own future retired self. The Saskatchewan Pension Plan offers great flexibility, professional investing, and a variety of options for retirement, whether you plan to start it early or late.
|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, classic rock, and darts. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22|