Retirement written on egg in hands, nest egg, savings

A significant proportion of Canadians who live on their own feel their life circumstances won’t change during retirement — and many fear they’re at great risk of outliving their savings in their twilight years.

In fact, almost two-thirds (65%) of Canadians 40 years of age or older and currently single, separated, divorced or widowed, feel they will most likely be living ‘solo’ when they retire. And 47% of them are concerned about running out of money for a variety of reasons, according to the results of the Retiring Solo survey that Toronto-Dominion Bank released on Tuesday.

Specifically, 63% of these Canadians are afraid of rising daily living expenses, not having enough money for necessities (41%) and increasing health-care costs (39%).

“Facing retirement alone is becoming increasingly prevalent, but what’s striking in these findings is the high level of anxiety that comes with this trend,” says Rowena Chan, senior vice president of TD Wealth Financial Planning, in a statement. “Canadians planning to retire solo are acutely concerned about whether they are saving enough to meet the wide spectrum of costs they will encounter in their older years — from day-to-day living expenses to providing enough for their own care in the event of illness.”

Anxieties regarding retirement readiness don’t appear to be unfounded. Retiring alone is, arguably, much more financially difficult than retiring as a couple, the survey says.

In particular, 39% of Canadians who are planning to retire alone believe they’re at a disadvantage compared with dual-income couples. In addition, 46% of Canadians on a single income say they struggle to save for retirement while handling day-to-day bills such as housing, car ownership and utilities.

“For those relying on a single income to fund their retirement, it’s critical to think beyond day-to-day financial obligations and plan accordingly for the future,” Chan says.
TD commissioned Toronto-based Environics Research Group to conduct an online survey among 2,500 Canadian adults from Oct. 26, 2017 to Nov. 3, 2017.