While retirement may be the dream of most working people, preparing for retirement can be extremely stressful, according to Franklin Templeton Investments’ annual survey that gauges Canadians’ views on retirement.
The latest survey found that as much as Canadians may look forward to retirement, 68 per cent feel stressed when thinking about the savings and investments they will need to support themselves during retirement.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, says Matthew Williams, senior vice-president, Defined Contribution and Retirement at Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. Many people planning for retirement look forward to it and are optimistic that they will cope.
“For some people, the thought of retiring from a career that they love and see as an important part of life can be very stressful,” says Mr. Williams. “They simply can’t see themselves ‘doing nothing’ and would prefer to keep working.”
But with the right planning, retirement can be the start of a whole new life adventure that can be just as full and rewarding as a long career, adds Mr. Williams.
“Spending weeks skiing in the Alps or the Rockies, travelling the world for months on end, taking up a new interest like sculpting or scuba diving; these are the types of ambitious goals that an increasing number of people set themselves for retirement. For them, there’s no question of spending their golden years sitting in a rocker on the porch reading the morning newspaper.”
Of course, not everyone necessarily wants a full and active retirement and some may prefer to slow down and stay at home and spend more time with friends and family, but whatever they choose, they should have a plan to sustain it, he says.
“You can’t predict what you may want in the future. Priorities change, people change, but we know for certain that a strong written retirement plan can help you achieve the freedom to pursue your dreams, whatever they may be.”
The need to plan ahead was underscored by finding in the survey that while 71 per cent of respondents aged 35 to 44 said they would delay retirement if they lacked sufficient funds to retire when they wanted to, the number dropped to 50 per cent among 55 to 64 year-old respondents who were much closer to retirement.
Even continuing to work part time after retirement to supplement income was less appealing to the older group; 46 per cent said they were willing to do so compared to 60 per cent of the younger group who said they would be willing to do part time work in retirement if they needed extra income. Mr. Williams also notes that Canadians need to consider the cost of healthcare as they move through the different phases of retirement.
“While none of us really knows what awaits us in retirement, our survey showed that people who have a written plan are nearly twice as confident about their future than those who don’t,” he says. “They are also likely to be twice as happy and knowledgeable.”