Two senior ladies hiking in the woods

A large majority of Canadians are open to working with financial professionals to plan for retirement, and one thing they want to know is how much to save, indicates a new survey from Mackenzie Investments.

In the firm’s second annual retirement survey, almost three-quarters of respondents who were still working (72%) said enlisting an advisor to help with investments before and during retirement was important.

That may be the case because many Canadians don’t know how to manage their money or how much they need to save.

For example, many of those surveyed who were still working thought they must save about double the amount that retired respondents said they had saved.

Retired respondents had savings of $427,000 on average when they retired, the survey found, while working respondents believed they’d require an average of $878,000 to retire comfortably.

A large majority of working respondents (88%) said knowing how much money they’ll need is important.

The survey also indicated that working Canadians have relatively low knowledge about financial topics such as investment management and tax efficiency, among others.

Of working respondents, half said they were knowledgeable about managing investments, and slightly more than half (51%) said they were knowledgeable about managing taxes efficiently in retirement.

Those figures increased to 69% and 71%, respectively, for retirees.

Still, that leaves nearly one-third of retirees who aren’t knowledgeable and may thus require financial help.

For the full survey results, including more differences between pre-retirees and retirees, read the Mackenzie Investments retirement study.

About the study: Pollara Strategic Insights conducted a survey between Aug. 7 and Aug. 12, 2020, with an online sample of 1,511 Canadians between ages 30 and 50, of whom 759 were retired. Results were weighted based on age, gender and region to be representative of the Canadian population. 

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys can’t be assigned a margin of error because they don’t randomly sample the population.