Retirement not a choice for many Canadians: Survey

Employer’s request top reason for early retirement
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/21/2011

There are surprises in store for Canadians who are expecting to retire on a date of their own choosing, according to a new survey.

The second annual RBC Retirement Myths and Realities survey polled more than 2,000 Canadians aged 50 and older about their retirement expectations or personal experiences and compared the perspectives of both retired and pre-retired workers.

While the majority (83 per cent) of pre-retirees believed they will retire on the date of their choice, almost one-half (41 per cent) of those who have already retired said their retirement date was unplanned. The top three factors cited for retiring earlier than expected were employer's request (18 per cent), health reasons (14 per cent) or reaching mandatory retirement age (six per cent).

"We're finding that even Canadians who think they are well-prepared for their retirement years have not taken the unexpected into consideration," said Lee Anne Davies, head of retirement strategies at RBC. "When their job disappears suddenly, they struggle with financing the added years in retirement that they hadn't counted on."

In the past 12 months, there has been a significant rise in the number of retirees returning to the workforce because they need the income (41 per cent in 2011 compared to 32 per cent in 2010), found the survey.

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