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COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Canadians to rethink retirement plans

Last Updated Feb 18, 2021 at 9:02 am PDT

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Many Canadians reconsidering their retirement plans because of COVID-19, survey finds

More than 60 per cent of survey takers say they'd rather spend retirement at home than at a care facility

Half of Canadians say they'd prioritize being close to family in retirement than living abroad

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It appears many people are shifting their retirement plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

survey from IG Wealth Management shows a number of working Canadians are reconsidering what we want our golden years to look like.

Over the last year, there have been a number of retirement homes and care facilities across Canada impacted by COVID-19.

That may be why 63 per cent of survey respondents say they’d prefer to spend their retirement at home rather than a facility.

“Spending our retirement in the relative safety of our own homes might be very appealing maybe rather than retirement residence or long-term care,” says Brent Allen, the senior VP of financial services at IG Wealth Management.

Retiring at home

He notes there is a bit of a trade off, however, when it comes to spending your later years at home.

“I think what’s interesting, at least from our perspective, is that many Canadians view their homes as an investment. And that can be an opportunity but it also is a challenge. You can’t take a brick out of your home and buy a loaf of bread,” Allen explains.

The survey also finds living abroad doesn’t hold as much appeal as it once did and about half of respondents would prioritize being closer to family.

“Warm weather is still very appealing, especially in the challenges of the winter here. But it might be more temporary rather than permanent and I think people are re-learning that knowledge that’s available to them,” says Allen.

Importance of savings

Meanwhile, Allen notes the pandemic has forced many Canadians to realize the importance of saving enough.

“Forty-six per cent of people surveyed said they might need more money in retirement than originally thought,” he explains.

With many of us looking to put away more, Allen says it’s important to take advantage of all possible programs offered by your employer before you retire.

“Whether it’s a matching program or a pension or anything that’s optional,” explains Allen. “You first want to put food on the table and make sure the lights are on before you think about the future. But the closer and the faster you can turn your attention to that long-term plan will give you the greatest opportunity.”

IG Wealth Management has found that a third of Canadians surveyed believe the pandemic will force them to delay their retirement.