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Canadians want to live near - but not with - their kids when they retire Add to ...

Canadians with children are more likely to see retirement as a time of happiness but that doesn’t mean they want to live with their offspring.

According to an HSBC survey released earlier this week, 32 per cent of Canadian parents see retirement as a time of financial hardship compared to 42 per cent of those without kids. And although 84 per cent of respondents are keen to live near their children in retirement, almost none want to be roomies.

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“Respondents in Canada are among the most likely to see themselves as living independently in their own homes when they retire...,” the HSBC report said.

Only 4 per cent of Canadians polled said they would like to live with their children in later life, “making Canadian respondents among the least keen globally on this course of action.” By comparison, 14 per cent of Brazilians, 25 per cent of Chinese and 32 per cent of Indians surveyed said they want to live with children or family members when they retire.

The Future of Retirement, released by HSBC earlier this week, looked at global retirement trends by surveying more than 17,000 people in 17 countries in December, 2010. In Canada, more than 1,000 people were polled.

Here are some of the other results of the survey:

  • Canadian men are more likely to look after retirement planning while women take responsibility for managing the household budget, the only area of family finances in which women are more proactive than men.
  • Canadian household financial plans have serious gaps: 23 per cent of those aged 50-59 who had a financial plan are not saving for retirement, 68 per cent of parents have not made a will, 35 per cent of parents do not have life insurance and only 32 per cent of those aged 50 to 59, an age where asset value typically peaks, are actively tax planning.
  • Canadian respondents perceive the risk of not having retirement funds as higher than the risk of investing for the long-term: While 16 per cent thought that investing in stocks was extremely risky, 22 per cent said they thought that not having a retirement fund was extremely risky.

The HSBC report concluded with four steps Canadian families can take to improve their financial wellbeing:

1) Share your financial decision-making Make sure that financial planning decisions which affect the household – in particular retirement and protection needs – are shared and discussed with your partner.

2) Use life events to start and review your financial plan Understand the importance of the life events and life stages, such as having children, saving for college, dealing with bereavement, divorce, then use these events as prompts to take action.

3) Review your financial plan with a professional adviser Many household financial plans contain gaps and omissions: get a professional review of your family’s financial plan.

4) Take a balanced approach to managing investment risk Balance the need to protect your investments in the short- and medium-term with the need to generate an adequate retirement income in the long-term.

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