Workers plan to stay on the job as long as they can

82 per cent of Canadians wouldn't retire today even if they could afford it: Survey

Money isn't the only factor in determining when to retire, with the overwhelming majority of workers reporting they wouldn't retire today, even if they had the financial means to do so.

A new survey of 1,200 Canadians by the Royal Bank of Canada found 82 per cent of respondents would continue to work even if they had enough money to retire now. Of those workers, 53 per cent would work part-time or occasionally.

"The definition of retirement is changing to include some form of work. Many Canadians may not feel that they are ready to make the transition into full retirement and continuing to work helps them to stay engaged and connected," said Lee Anne Davies, head of advanced retirement strategies at RBC.

While 56 per cent of respondents plan to continue working as long as possible, the percentage drops to 43 per cent for those 55 and older.

The survey found 38 per cent of Canadians believe they will work past the age of 65. This decision seems to be influenced by the respondents' personal or financial obligations. One-third of those who plan to retire after 65 expect to support someone in retirement, compared to 22 per cent of those who expect to retire before 65.

Nearly all respondents (91 per cent) said that it's important to retire debt-free, but almost one-half of those who plan to retire after age 65 are concerned they haven't done enough to save for retirement.

With 72 per cent of respondents confident they will be able to return to work if they need extra retirement income, it suggests they don't see potential health issues, ageism and out-dated workplace skills as roadblocks to employment prospects in retirement, said Davies.

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