TD survey finds 47 per cent of Canadians planning to retire solo concerned about outliving their retirement savings



Life expectancy in Canada has greatly increased, leaving many Canadians at-risk of outliving their retirement savings. According to TD’s Retiring Solo survey, nearly half (47 per cent) of Canadians 40 years of age or older planning to retire solo share this concern – many fearful of rising daily living expenses (63 per cent), not having enough money for necessities (41 per cent) and increasing healthcare costs (39 per cent).


“Facing retirement alone is becoming increasingly prevalent, but what is striking in these findings is the high level of anxiety that comes with this trend,” said Rowena Chan, Senior Vice President, TD Wealth Financial Planning. “Canadians planning to retire solo are acutely concerned about whether they are saving enough to meet the wide spectrum of costs they will encounter in their older years – from day-to-day living expenses, to providing enough for their own care in the event of illness.”


Nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of Canadians 40 years of age or older, and currently single, separated, divorced or widowed, feel they will most likely be living ‘solo’ when they retire. This finding corresponds with the 2016 Statistics Canada Census, which found that the percentage of one-person households is at an all-time high and is now the most common type of living arrangement.


Whether by choice or circumstance, retiring solo is arguably more difficult than for a couple. In fact, nearly four in ten (39 per cent) Canadians planning to retire solo believe they are at a disadvantage compared to dual-income couples when it comes to saving for retirement. With a single income, those polled (46 per cent) say they struggle to save for retirement while managing day-to-day bills as they have to cover all their expenses alone – housing, car ownership, utilities, etc.


“For those relying on a single income to fund their retirement, it’s critical to think beyond day-to-day financial obligations and plan accordingly for the future,” said Chan. “Meeting with a financial planner to put a financial strategy in place can help solo Canadians juggle their current financial demands while building resources for retirement.”


To help solo Canadians become retirement ready, TD offers the following tips and advice:


Your retirement, your way
If you think you’ll be retiring solo, establish a plan that will get you that much closer to your retirement goals – whether it’s travelling, volunteering or starting a new venture. A plan may identify your sources of income, estimate expenses, implement a savings program and manage your assets.


Be a ‘solo saver,’ not a spender
Keeping your finances in order, especially when depending on a single income, is critically important. An easy way to ensure you’re actively saving for retirement is to set up an automatic authorized payment on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Also, mix RSPs, pensions (where relevant), TFSAs and non-registered investment accounts to target tax-efficient income-stream options for retirement.


Educate yourself and contribute early
Take the time to educate yourself and start your retirement planning early to maximize the benefits time provides. For example, longer term investing gives you a longer period of potential investment growth and can help mitigate shorter term fluctuations in the market.


Prepare for the unexpected
Regardless of how much we plan, inevitably the unexpected happens. When relying on a single income, the financial impact can be even greater. Preparing ahead for unexpected life circumstances, such as an illness or job loss, can reduce the impact on your retirement savings plan and can help you avoid dipping into your nest egg.


Retiring solo makes sensible financial planning necessary. Financial planners can leverage different strategies to help you take the steps needed to target your retirement goals.


About the TD survey 
TD commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online survey among a total of 2,500 adults from October 26 – November 3, 2017. Of those, 699 indicated they were 40 years of age or older and stated that they were single, never married, separated, divorced or widowed. Of those 699 respondents, 456 indicated that when they retire, they will most likely be living alone. All respondents resided in Canada.


Learn More About TD Canada Trust


For further information contact:

Julie Bellissimo, TD Bank Group, 416-965-6050,
Cillian Murphy, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, 416-413-5029,

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