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Chatting with a financial planner recently, I learned that increasing life spans mean we all need to adjust our retirement savings goals. People should plan for retirement income to last until at least age 95, she told me. Even for those not leaving the workforce early, that's still 30 years of living expenses to finance. No wonder many Canadians don't expect to be able to afford their dream retirement.

Three quarters of Canadians don't expect to have enough income to reach their retirement dreams, according to the 20th Annual RBC RRSP Poll, released Monday. The survey results, though, don't go on to describe what creature comforts constitute a dream retirement. Are most of us envisioning sunny isles and swaying palm trees?

Personally, life without an alarm clock ringing out at six in the morning will be enough. The good news is that, according to the RBC survey, 90 per cent of us believe we'll have enough income to cover our necessities once we no longer have jobs.

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Of course, the poll also found that many Canadians underestimate how much money they'll need in retirement. More than half of the retired people surveyed said they spent more than expected in their first year of retirement.

Try RBC's online retirement expenses calculator, which I recently featured in a Home Cents blog post on financial calculators to put a number to your retirement dream.

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