Skip To Content

Planning may not be Such a Huge Part of Retirement After All

23 September 2012

Everyone hears all the time about how important retirement planning is. You should have a good idea of how much money you’ll need every month, and work until you have that much saved in order to live income-free comfortably. But, as so many retirees are finding out, it doesn’t matter how much they plan. The unexpected always comes up – and that includes losing their job sooner than they thought.

This information was released with the results of a survey done for RBC on Wednesday. That survey polled Canadians that were 50 years or older, and that had assets of over $100,000. In the poll were questions about retirement and more specifically, when they’d leave their job in order to start their Golden Years. The results show that even the best laid plans sometimes go awry.


As indicated by the chart above, 85 per cent of those polled thought they knew the date at which they’d retire. Or they at least had a plan for when the time would be to leave their job. However, only 62 per cent of current retirees said that the choice was actually theirs to make.

The reasons for not retiring when they had expected are many. The RBC survey showed that the most common reasons given were that employers had asked individuals to retire early, health reasons, and needing to take on the role of caregiver for someone else.

The survey also exposed other interesting facts, such as that retirees often aren’t given a lot of notice before they need to pack up their desk and leave. These results are indicated in the chart below.

So what’s the biggest problem in not actually being able to plan our your retirement the way you would like?

Well of course you won’t have full control over your own future, which is a major thorn in many sides. But the bigger problem is that many people probably aren’t financially prepared to retire early, or with little notice.

Roger Mannell, director of the RBC Retirement Research Centre, says that this is indeed the biggest problem.

“Many have not saved enough money to finance the lifestyle they would like to have when they retire,” he says. “Retirement is about more than subsistence. If you want retirement to be successful, meaningful and rewarding, you need to plan for that and finance it.”

He also sees the problem with people having to retire early. He says that the reason for it is simply what’s going on in the Canadian economy right now. With so many companies looking to downsize, it’s often the senior-level, higher-paying jobs that are cut first. And this can cause individuals to retire before they thought it was their time.

What do you think about these recent survey results? By what age do you want to retire, and do you think you’ll be able to? Let us know by throwing up a comment into the section below, or liking us on Facebook!

Contact Us

Contact us today to set up an appointment.

    Thanks for contacting us! We will get in touch with you shortly.