February 7, 2022

One-third of Canadians more worried about retirement now versus last year

New research from Scotia Global Asset Management (GAM) Canada, reported on by Wealth Professional, shows 32 per cent of Canadians are today “more worried about their ability to fund their retirement” than they were a year ago.

A further 45 per cent say “the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their retirement plans,” the magazine reports. Another poll from Scotiabank, its annual Worry Poll, recently found that a whopping 75 per cent of us are “worrying about their finances,” Wealth Professional explains.

The article says getting professional assistance may be a way to chase away the retirement saving blues.

“Confidence levels are boosted when working with a financial article,” the report notes, adding that “87 per cent of Canadians who met with an advisor in the past six months… (say) their advisor makes them feel confident that their investments will be OK.” That confidence level drops to 67 per cent among those “who did not meet with an advisor.”

“These results indicate that while investors are concerned about meeting their retirement goals, regular meetings with financial advisors significantly alleviate those concerns. In a continually changing environment, the value of advice prevails,” Neal Kerr, Head, Scotia GAM Canada, states in the article.

Further findings from the survey suggest that 86 per cent of respondents feel “their advisor keeps them on track to meet their goals, regardless of market changes,” and that 76 per cent feel “they are better off financially than if they managed their money on their own.”

The article concludes by urging advisors to seek out new clients, in an effort to show them “the future is brighter than they may think.”

Save with SPP has long been a bit of a lone wolf when it comes to advice, but now – in our senior years – we are seeing the benefits of getting legal, financial and other advice when warranted. We recently had to get the services of an immigration lawyer to clear up the citizenship status of a late relative. We employed a disability benefits specialist to help another relative who is recovering from a bad accident. Efforts to try and solve these problems on our own had been going nowhere; now both are either resolved or on the road there.

Another place where we tend to hate getting advice is on the golf course. Yet the three other players in our foursome are consistently improving while we flail away the same old way. They are equipped with fancy GPS watches that tell them the distance to the green, suggest what club to use, all while keeping track of their scores. Our watch tells us the time. They take lessons and practice. We warm up on the first tee only. They are getting ahead, we are staying behind. Hmmm.

One place where we enjoy the benefits of professional advice is in our Saskatchewan Pension Plan accounts. Do you know that SPP, whose Balanced Fund returned an impressive 11.53 per cent last year, features professional investing at a very low fee? While last year’s returns are no guarantee of what lies ahead for investments, it’s nice to know that someone other than oneself is at the rudder to pilot us through these turbulent economic times.

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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.