Re-thinking Retirement (Part 1)

Jul 15, 2013

It is one of the most pervasive things about living – we are getting older. That’s obvious of course, but in the context of global statistics on aging we are also living longer. It also means seniors will comprise a larger and growing proportion of the World’s population over time, and this will have implications for governments and every one of us.

 In Canada, the median age was 26.2 years in 1971 and increased to 40 years by 2011. That means half the population was over the age of 40 in 2011. Over 5 million Canadians are now over the age 65 and that number is expected to double by 2051. Due to life expectancy, lower than optimal fertility rates and advances in health care, Canada will be among 64 countries where 30% or more of our population will be over age 60.                                                                                                                                                    

Although this is good news for all of human kind, an aging population will have a lasting impact on a country’s socio-economic strategies, including health care and social security programs. Canada’s programs are already feeling the strain so the issues will only become more urgent with time.

 Even today, life expectancy is being felt directly and indirectly as one of the often overlooked risks associated with retirement planning. Longevity Risk, or the probability you will run out of money during your retirement from work, is one of the biggest factors of both delayed retirement and continued part-time work during retirement.

 The face of retirement is changing, so why do we still view age 65 as our ‘normal’ retirement age? What is clear, is that for many more of us there are fewer good reasons for a retirement beginning at age 65.

The time to plan of course is now – no matter where you are or at what stage of life you are in. It is important that you plan for retirement while you have the time and resources to plan. Like the Rolling Stones said back in the 60’s, “time is on our side”. Only now, it is getting more expensive.

 In Part 2, we’ll look at some government related polices and what they mean to your retirement.

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