3 polls show Canadians are financially unprepared for old age

3 polls show Canadians are unprepared for old age

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Many worry about outliving their savings and don’t have a will

No fewer than three polls showing how poorly prepared Canadians are for old age were released on January 23.

An online survey of 1,516 members of the Angus Reid Forum found that half (51 percent) do not have a will and only one-third (35 percent) have one that is up to date. The only provinces where a majority say they have a will in place are Quebec (58 percent) and B.C. (54 percent). A quarter of Canadians haven’t written a will because they’re “too young” to worry about it (25 percent) or don’t have enough assets to make a will worthwhile (23 percent).

Two more polls found that many Canadians are worried about outliving their retirement savings: 47 percent of respondents 40 years of age or older and planning to retire solo, according to an Environics Research Group survey of 2,500 Canadian adults on behalf of TD Bank Group. Many (39 percent) feel that depending on a single income makes it tougher to save for retirement, and survey participants are fearful of rising daily living expenses (63 percent), not having enough money for necessities (41 percent) and increasing health care costs (39 percent).

TD offers the following tips to becoming retirement ready on a single income:
• Establish a plan to bring you closer to your retirement goals
• Be a solo saver, not a spender
• Maximize retirement savings by starting today
• Prepare for the unexpected

An Ipsos poll of 1,000 Canadians aged 55 to 75 on behalf of RBC Insurance indicates that 62 percent of this group are concerned about outlasting their retirement savings. The financial tools they are using to save are RRSPs (45 percent), cash savings (43 percent), TFSAs (39 percent) and annuities (12 percent). Here’s what respondents know about annuities:

• They don’t need to invest their entire retirement savings in an annuity (91 percent)
• It’s possible to invest in an annuity using RRSP and/or RRIF savings (72 percent)
• An annuity provides a predictable income stream for life, regardless of whether financial markets rise or fall (63 percent)
• Annuity purchases can be staggered to help increase payouts (63 percent)
• An annuity does not have to be managed once it has been purchased (28 percent)