How are Canadians doing when it comes to retirement readiness?

66% of pre-retiree Canadians stated they are behind on their retirement saving. Only about half of this group feels they’ll be able to catch up.


Our Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) study revealed that most Canadians would choose to keep working and postpone retirement if they haven’t saved enough by the time they plan to retire.

Here’s the catch… that might not always be an option. Nearly one-quarter of retirees said that they entered retirement due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. health issues, company downsizing) and 36% of retirees stated that they retired earlier than they expected.

Retirement & Debt

When asked to rank their financial priorities, 82% of Canadians list debt repayment in their top three. Comparatively, retirement savings is listed in 60% of Canadians’ top three priorities. With household debt near record levels, this might not come as a surprise.


Many Canadians need help determining the most strategic income allocation towards each of their financial goals. You might wonder, “Should I be saving more or paying off my debt first?” The answer depends on your circumstances, interest rates, investment allocation, time horizon, plus other factors. The good news is that an advisor can help work you through this with a financial plan that encompasses both sides of the balance sheet.


Retirement & Healthcare

When we think of life in retirement, we often think of the exciting parts – travel, time for hobbies, time with loved ones. In reality, there can be some significant challenges in retirement.

Health-related expenses are the top retirement expense concern amongst Canadians. We asked Canadians who have not yet retired, “Do you know how you’ll pay for your medical expenses in retirement?” More than half said they don’t know.


Some of the health-related costs facing seniors include:

  • Medication, potentially for long-term, chronic condition(s)
  • Specialist visits, such as optometry, osteopathy, dentistry
  • Medical equipment, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, mobility devices
  • Specialized procedures, such as hospital care, dental work
  • Assisted living care, such as living in a retirement community or hiring a caregiver

If you currently rely on employer benefits for some or all of these costs, it’s worth looking into what health coverage, if any, you’ll retain in retirement. Be sure to ask about annual or lifetime spending caps, since a chronic diagnosis might deplete your coverage sooner than expected.

An unexpected medical incident or diagnosis could eat into retirement savings that were otherwise allocated for day-to-day living expenses. It’s an unpleasant thought and discussion, but it’s important to work with a team of investment and insurance advisors to analyze gaps in your plan and help ensure you would be financially prepared for a worst-case scenario.


Only 45% of Canadians currently work with an Investment Advisor
Here's why that matters

According to Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) research, those that currently work with an Investment Advisor are…

  • Less likely to feel they’ve fallen behind on their retirement savings goals
  • Likely to have saved more towards retirement
  • More likely to have a retirement strategy
  • Twice as likely to know how they will pay medical expenses in retirement
  • Less concerned about outliving their retirement savings
  • Four times less likely to report significant stress/anxiety when thinking about their retirement savings
  • More likely to have saved enough or more than needed for retirement
  • Has never worked with an Investment Advisor
  • Currently works with an Investment Advisor

An advisor can help – even when you’re just getting started.

We asked Canadians aged 18-35 who don’t work with an advisor: why not? The most popular response was that retirement is too far away. The second most common response was I don’t have enough saved.

Something else we found? Hindsight is 20/20. In fact, more than half (53%) of retired Canadians wish they saved more for their retirement.

Through the magic of what’s called compounding, even a small start towards retirement can make a great difference in the long-run. Another benefit of having time to spare is that you can take on more risk in your portfolio, which in general, can lead to higher long-term returns while you ride out market cycles and volatility.


Even if you don’t know what’s on the horizon or how you’d like to spend your retirement, an advisor can help create a retirement plan that works for your budget today and adjust it as your circumstances and goals change.


Resources for Investors

Let’s Get Social

Take a look at these shareable insights for your social media channels. These statistics and suggested captions can be used as conversation starters with your network.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #FranklinTempletonRISE

With household debt near record levels, more Canadians are making debt repayment a priority than saving for their retirement.

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Early retirement sounds nice, but not when it’s unexpected. A financial plan can help prepare for the worst-case scenario.

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The average annual amount a new beneficiary of both CPP+OAS receives? About $15,500.

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When it comes to saving for retirement, Canadians must start early and save often.

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“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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For the many business owners without a pension plan or health insurance, saving enough for retirement can be stressful and requires unique planning.

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Be sure to connect with Franklin Templeton for regular insights and updates.


About RISE

Franklin Templeton’s Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) is a proprietary research study. This project not only raises awareness about Canadian retirement living and preparedness, it helps us create even better resources to support our partners and Canadians’ financial planning needs.

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