Working Past Age 80


Are you worried that you’ll run out of money before you die? Are you scared that you may not able to pay for your long-term care needs? Afraid that you will need to rely on your children for financial support during your final years?

According to the “Seniors and Money Report” that was released last week, you are certainly not alone. June is Seniors’ Month and the jointly commissioned report was released a few days before the start of the month to highlight some real risks and fears that many Canadian seniors are facing.

Key findings from the report that looked at debt, income and financial planning work for Canadians aged 60 and over include:

  1. One in four seniors fear that they will run out of money before they die.
  2. A little under 75 per cent of respondents were likely to rely mostly on government income (CPP, OAS and GIS) over other savings and retirement income they built up on their own.
  3. 30 per cent stated that they can’t afford to retire.
  4. More than half of those polled said they still carry debt past age 60 and 35 per cent were still carrying a debt load past age 80.
  5. 25 per cent feared that they would not be able to pay for long-term care costs.
  6. 30 per cent of those over age 60 and 22 per cent of those over age 80 are still financially supporting their children.
  7. Nearly a quarter of homeowners over age 60 still have a mortgage.

Financial planning used to be a much less complex task. If you worked for the same company for your whole career, you had a steady paycheque to pay down the mortgage and put a little away plus a solid pension plan to fully fund your retirement needs. As long as you put in the years with your company and didn’t spend more money than you could afford, your retirement more or less took care of itself.

Times seem to be changing though and the days when most of our population retires with a good pension, a mortgage free house and a good-sized retirement savings account are gone. This makes the financial planning and retirement planning process significantly more important.
Some seniors may feel embarrassed about their financial position. While never easy to do, asking for help at a time when you feel vulnerable or ashamed is critically important as this is when you need the help the most.

Many also feel that it’s too late to ask for assistance when it comes to their finances. Again, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. While solid financial planning advice would have no doubt helped them even more 20, 30 or even 40 years ago, getting that advice today is still better than waiting another five or ten years to see what your options are.

No matter what stage of life and retirement planning you are at, a solid financial plan can go a long way to help ensure a work-free and worry-free retirement. It is never too late to get started.