Mario ToneguzziWhen is the right time to retire?

As many Canadians get to the age where they’re contemplating their next steps in life, a new CIBC poll indicates 27 per cent of retired Canadians regret retiring and an almost equal number – 23 per cent – have tried re-entering the labour market.

The poll, which was released on Wednesday, added that 59 per cent choose to return to work for the intellectual stimulation and 50 per cent say it’s financial concerns that have them hitting the pavement.

“Too many Canadians approach retirement without a plan, which can lead to unnecessary stress, worries about money and even course corrections,” said Jamie Golombek, managing director of CIBC Financial Planning and Advice, in a news release.

“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. Consider how tax strategies can help you keep more of your money and make it easier to achieve the retirement lifestyle you want. Whichever route you choose, plan ahead and review your plan as your situation changes.”

The poll also revealed that half of all Canadians would rather keep working past age 65 than retire and endure a lower standard of living. Also 78 per cent believe that reducing their work hours or “semi-retirement” gives them the “best of both worlds.”

The survey also found:

  • 32 per cent of those who tried to re-enter the labour market post retirement did so successfully at a similar pay and level; the rest were only able to enter at a lower level/pay (38 per cent) or gave up trying (30 per cent);
  • 18 per cent said they never worry about money, because their “retirement plan is all set;”
  • 51 per cent of working Canadians aged 55 to 64 secretly wish their employer would offer them a severance package to leave;
  • 89 per cent don’t fully know how their retirement income is taxed, even among those already retired;
  • 47 per cent of retirees stopped working earlier than they expected due to health, family obligations or employment changes;
  • 74 per cent worry about having enough income in retirement.

“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,” said Golombek. “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.

“When most think about maximizing their retirement income, they think about earning more or spending less. But few consider how to reduce their tax bill and keep more of their money when drawing down their assets – and effectively building their retirement paycheque.”

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business

retiring workforce

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.