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Canadians worried about their retirement plans amid COVID-19: CIBC Poll

40% concerned about their post-work lifestyle goals, with close to a quarter unable to contribute to retirement savings since COVID-19 began

October 22, 2020  by CM Staff

CIBC Poll: COVID-19 Impact on Retirement Planning (CNW Group/CIBC)

TORONTO — A recent CIBC survey finds that the pandemic has impacted Canadians’ savings and their anticipated lifestyle in retirement. Four out of 10 (40%) respondents worry about the effect of COVID-19 on their savings and retirement plans, with almost a quarter (23%) unable to contribute to their retirement nest egg since the pandemic began.

Of those who feel COVID-19 has affected their retirement plans, many feel their expected vision for their post-work lives has changed. Almost a third (32 per cent) no longer plan on travelling or will travel much less than planned. Many Canadians also feel they will need to work longer than expected – for 30 per cent, this is due to a COVID-19-related loss of household income, and for 26 per cent, they feel the pandemic has significantly increased the cost of retiring. Additionally, out of those who intended to downsize their primary residence in their golden years, 40% are now unsure of the right time to make this move.

A higher number of men (68%) say they feel confident about managing investments in retirement, compared to women (57%). Women are also more likely to turn to friends and family for retirement advice (25%), whereas many men (23%) claim they make all decisions about money matters on their own.

“This is a pivotal time to get advice about your ambitions for retirement,” said Laura Dottori-Attanasio, group head, personal and business banking, in a prepared statement. “An expert can help re-assess your financial plan, create new estimates for retirement income, identify ways to improve cash flow and adjust timelines if needed to meet your overall goals.”

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The survey also found:

  • 26% of those between the ages of 34-55 and 20% of Canadians over the age of 55 have been unable to contribute to retirement savings since the pandemic began
  • Of those who feel COVID-19 has affected their retirement plans, 24% say the pandemic has made them realize they can live with less and will significantly reduce their discretionary spending in the long-term
  • Lessons Canadians say they’ve learned during the pandemic include: there’s a need to pay more attention to personal finances (20%); not to panic when markets get volatile (21%); and it’s important to save for retirement/their future (19%)