4 in 10 boomers had less than 6 months' notice before retirement

38 per cent had no choice: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/19/2012

Many (85 per cent) pre-retired baby boomers with financial assets of $100,000 or more believe they will have a choice about when they retire, however, only 62 per cent of retired boomers actually did have the choice, according to a survey by RBC.

Boomers don't always have much lead time in advance of their retirement date, found the RBC Retirement Myths and Realities Poll. One in five (20 per cent) retired baby boomers knew one month or less before their actual retirement that they were going to retire and 42 per cent had less than six months’ notice.

"The surprising number of people facing unexpected retirement highlights the critical importance of starting lifestyle and financial planning early," said Roger Mannell, director of the RBC Retirement Research Centre at the University of Waterloo and a professor of recreation and leisure studies, public health and gerontology.

For those retired baby boomers who felt their retirement came at the right time, 78 per cent said they wanted to enjoy an active retirement while their health was good. Being healthy was cited as the main reason for the timing of their retirement, ahead of having enough money (34 per cent) or being unhappy at work (25 per cent), found the survey of 2,833 adults.

Reasons for retirement

Retired

Not retired

Had/have the choice

62%

85%

Ready to retire

55%

72%

Have enough to retire comfortably

18%

31%

Employer’s request

17%

3%

Health reasons

13%

9%

Mandatory retirement age

5%

9%

Required to be a caregiver

4%

1%

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