Retirement, work-life, sign post, direction on a field with blue sky

More than one-quarter of retired Canadians regret their decision to retire, according to the findings of a new poll by Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Twenty-seven per cent of retired Canadians expressed regret, and nearly as many (23%) have tried to re-enter the labour market, the poll found. More than half (59%) say they chose to return to the workforce for mental stimulation, but 50% of respondents also cited financial concerns.

“Too many Canadians approach retirement without a plan, which can lead to unnecessary stress, worries about money and even course corrections,” says Jamie Golombek, managing director of CIBC Financial Planning and Advice, in a statement. “It’s important to visualize your retirement and be clear about how you’ll spend your time. While some choose to stop working entirely, others gradually ease into it.”

This latter option is favoured by Canadians, 78% of whom say reducing work hours or semi-retirement is a way to get the “best of both worlds.”

CIBC cautions that a bet on returning to work after retirement doesn’t always work out — 30% of those who re-entered the job market gave up on trying to find a job, and 38% re-entered at a lower pay grade or position.

“The idea of working in retirement doesn’t replace the need to properly plan ahead and save. The fact is, even if you’re in great shape, healthy and want to return to work, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to earn sufficient pay and benefits,” Golombek says.

“Plus, any extra income you earn could impact your retirement benefits, limit your ability to claim certain credits or put you in a higher tax bracket, and end up costing you more than you think when your tax bill comes due.”