2005年 01月 11日
（Vancouver Sun １月１０日）
（mandatory retirement ageが６５歳である州が多い）
"We're changing the way we think about retirement"
January 10, 2005
Canada's aging society is emerging as one of the main themes of this year's selling season for registered retirement savings plans.
Investors Group, for example, wants to know if you are planning to live to 100. With 3,795 Canadian centenarians at last count, it suggests we should all extend our financial planning horizons.
TD Waterhouse wants to know if you are planning to retire by 65 or sooner. Its polling shows that one-third of Canadians plan to work past the traditional retirement age, and most of those plan to do so out of choice rather than necessity.
The findings suggest a major shift in how Canadians think about retirement, says Patricia Lovett-Reid, senior vice-president with TD Waterhouse.
Long-held notions of life after 65 are being blown away by an aging population base, looming labour shortages, fewer secure pension plans and lower expectations of income from retirement investments.
Quality-of-life issues are also moving to the forefront as people face the real possibility that retirement could last 30 to 40 years -- almost as long as their working lives.
Individuals need to consider how much of their retirement will be the "go-go" years of continuing work or extensive travel and recreation, how much is likely to be the lower-cost "slow-go" years when many seniors are happy to stay close to home, and how much could be "no-go" years, when ongoing and expensive care may be needed to manage declining health.
According to the most recent data, a man retiring at age 65 can expect to live to 82.2 years and a woman can expect to live to 85.6 years. That's 17 to 21 years of retirement on average, but most of us aren't average. Half will die sooner and half will live longer.
The number of centenarians is up 21 per cent since 1996 and the fastest-growing portion of the population is comprised of those 80 and over. From 1991 to 2001, their numbers jumped over 41 per cent to 932,000.
The trend is expected to continue. From 2001 to 2011, the number of people 80 and over is expected to increase another 43 per cent to more than 1.3 million.
Longer lifespans mean Canadians need to rethink the assumptions underlying their financial plans, says Debbie Ammeter, vice-president of advanced financial planning support at Investors Group.
Consider a woman who retires at age 65 and puts her retirement savings into a registered retirement income fund that earns six per cent. She draws $3,000 each month with no increases for inflation.
Ignoring taxes, she would need to have $375,425 in the RRIF to last until age 80. However, if she needed the RRIF to last to age 100, she would need $543,160 at age 65 -- that's $167,735 more.
Longer lifespans increase the need for customized financial planning, Ammeter says.
For example, a paid-for home at 65 could be viewed as a reserve income source in case you live longer than average, or require long-term health care. But if you are planning on downsizing or selling your home to pay for the first stage of your retirement, you may have greater need of an annuity and long-term health insurance.
An annuity can ensure an income stream for basic expenses for as long as you live, while long-term care insurance can cover costs not covered by the provincial government, or provide funds for home help to allow you to stay longer in your own home despite health problems.
Perhaps the biggest issue for the giant wave of baby boomers -- one-third of Canada's population, currently aged 40 to 59 -- is what they will do with an extended retirement.
"It could last 35 to 40 years and your goals and your ability to do things will change in that time," Ammeter said.
"For our grandparents, retirement meant they were too old to work. The baby boomers probably will still be young enough to work, but may want to take a bit more time out to do other things."
Although retirement is just around the corner for millions, Canadians are not getting too worked up about their long-term futures.
Polling by TD Waterhouse shows that two-thirds of those who have not yet retired are not stressed out by retirement investing.
Among the one-third who find the process somewhat, very or extremely stressful, the cause of the stress is more likely to be uncertainty (33 per cent) than lack of money (16 per cent).
Lack of concern about retirement savings runs counter to the findings of a TD Economics report earlier last year that found that many Canadians are working fewer years than their parents while their life expectancy is rising.
As well, many boomer parents are struggling to finance the burgeoning cost of post-secondary education for their children while sharing the financial burden of caring for their own aging parents. The report's conclusion was that, in many cases, Canadians are not saving enough for retirement.
One reason behind the lack of stress may be that one-third of Canadian investors who have not yet retired plan to be working either part time (25 per cent) or full time (eight per cent) past the mandatory retirement age, the TD Waterhouse 2005 RRSP poll shows.
Among those who see their working lives stretching out indefinitely, almost three-quarters say that will be out of choice rather than necessity, according to the cross-country poll, which is considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The poll shows investors have reined in their expectations for rates of return in 2005 with five per cent as the median expectation for all investors. Stock investors are the most optimistic with a median expectation of 10 per cent, although TD Economics projects three to six per cent returns in 2005 from Canadian and U.S. equities.
For those betting on a longer life, Ammeter says phased-in or progressive retirement may help to close income gaps while meeting the needs of seniors who are not ready to fully retire from the workforce, as well as the needs of employers facing labour shortages.
She says individuals need to review planning projections, which have typically been based on full retirement but only calculated to age 90, or age 95.
It is also important that people protect against the financial burden of illness and disability, preferably while they are relatively young and healthy and qualify for better insurance coverage at lower cost.