Health concerns outweigh finances for Canadian boomers nearing retirement: poll

TORONTO – Canadians approaching retirement are more concerned about their health than their finances, according to a new survey.

Released on Tuesday, the 2013 RBC Retirement Myths & Realities poll found that of those who were surveyed in the 50-59 age group, 70 per cent ranked their physical health highest on the list of top challenges they expect to face as retirees. Fifty-seven per cent expect changes to income to be a challenge during retirement.

“Watching their older relatives and friends age has made this generation more aware that good health is not something to take for granted,” said Amalia Costa, head of retirement strategies & successful aging at RBC in a press release.

Costa said that what many of Canada’s younger boomers are not yet as aware of  is that the health issues of their loved ones may have an impact on their personal retirement plans—not only on their finances, but also in terms of time commitment and emotional stress.

YOUR THOUGHTS: Are you more worried about your health than money issues as you approach retirement?  Share your thoughts in our comments section below or on our Facebook page here.

The annual RBC poll continues to underline how expectations do not always match realities.

For example, while 40 per cent of younger boomers do not expect health or disability constraints to ever change their lifestyle or independence, almost 27 per cent report that a significant health issue or decline in health has affected them or someone in their family in the past year.

According to the survey, 42 per cent said that being a caregiver to another adult was a support role they had already performed, were doing now, or expected to do in future. More than half said the role significantly increased their stress levels and 24 per cent said it was a significant out-of pocket expense.

About the poll

This annual poll was conducted via online interviews by Ipsos Reid from Feb. 27 to March 12, 2013, using a national sample of 2,159 adults aged 50 and over with household assets of at least $100,000 from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel.  A survey with this sample size and a 100 per cent response rated would have an estimated margin of error of ±2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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