Gen-X unprepared for retirement: survey

Almost three-quarters (74%) of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54 believe they are not saving enough for retirement, and 25% say the idea of not being ready for this phase of life is keeping them up at night, according to research from TD Canada Trust, the retail banking unit of Toronto-based Toronto-Dominion Bank.

This finding may reveal an area in which financial advisors can provide assistance to those within the demographic, known as “Generation X.” Indeed, 54% of survey participants say they need help in meeting their financial goals, according to the report released on Thursday.

Advisors have an important role in helping Gen-X clients build up their retirement funds by reviewing those Canadians’ expenses with them; looking for opportunities to free up cash flow; and determining which banking or investment products are best for their goals, said Jenny Diplock, associate vice president, personal savings and investing at TD Canada Trust, in a statement.

Of the 74% of Gen-X Canadians who feel they are not putting away enough money for retirement, 60% do not expect to retire on time and 29% expect they will continue working in some capacity during retirement.

Most Gen-X Canadians (61%) say the biggest obstacle to a well-funded retirement is everyday expenses, which can include costs related to housing and child care. Almost half (42%) say that existing debt is proving to be a barrier and 19% attribute their inability to increase their long-term savings to major unexpected life events such as divorce or death of a spouse.

“There are different reasons why people struggle to save for retirement,” Diplock said, “but it’s never too late to get started.”

More than three-quarters (77%) of the Canadians surveyed for this report have a key message for those who are younger than they are: start saving earlier.

Leger Marketing collected the data for the report using the responses of 623 non-retired Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54. The survey took place between Oct. 21 and Nov. 3.

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