Tag Archives: The Tyee

Nov 25: Best from the blogosphere

Albertans look to their homes to help fund their retirement

New research suggests that more than half of Albertans see their homes as their “retirement nest eggs,” reports the Edmonton Journal.

The study, carried out by RBC, found that “52 per cent of Albertans, 50 and older, plan to use the equity in their homes as a source of retirement income,” the Journal reports.

“A lot of retirees are expecting they will downsize – or sell and rent – and turn that equity into potential retirement income in the future,” states RBC’s Nicole Wells in the article.

And the survey backs that thinking up, indicating that 56 per cent of Wild Rose Country citizens surveyed want to do just that – downsize or rent, the article adds.

What’s driving this?

The article notes that 16 per cent of those surveyed expect they will be carrying debt into their retirement. One of the reasons, the article suggests, may be that many Albertan parents are helping their adult children.

“What we find is often parents are feeling great pressure to help their kids,” states Wells in the article. This, she states, can have some negative consequences on the parents. “It’s great that your kids can get into a home, but you must have a financial plan to look beyond the emotion to understand what helping kids means for you as you get older,” she tells the Journal.

Getting out of a mortgage and moving to a smaller place can have unexpected costs, Wells warns. Even though most Albertans have seen a lot of price appreciation over the years, selling a house these days can take longer than expected. And moving to a condo may mean you are paying high condo fees, she states in the article. There are also realtor fees to think about, she states.

“It’s a decision where you’ve seen the equity growth in the property, but when you start slicing away at it with different costs, you want to make sure you have enough left to survive through retirement,” Wells tells the Journal.

Let’s first of all commend Albertans for running their money well – if only 16 per cent of those surveyed are expecting to retire with debt, that’s a very positive sign.

According to The Tyee, Canadians are awash in debt. “Canadians now owe an eye-watering $2.2 trillion, or 178 per cent of disposable income — a measure that has doubled in the last 20 years. Personal bills now amount to more than our entire GDP, making us the most indebted citizenry in the G20 and fourth highest in the world. Over half of Canadians report they are only $200 per month away from insolvency, The Tyee reports.

We’ve tended, as a nation, to put everything on the house. First, our debt, and then, our retirement. It’s probably wise to have other options for retirement savings, since after all, you have too live somewhere. If you haven’t started saving for retirement yet, maybe because there’s no retirement plan at work, it’s never to late to start. The Saskatchewan Pension Plan can set you up for the road ahead with a low-fee retirement account that will grow your savings and turn it into much-needed retirement income down the line. Be sure to check them out today.

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