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Canada’s boomers woefully short of hitting retirement goals: report

Boomers are, on average, $400,000 short of their $658,000 nest egg retirement goal, according to the survey by the BMO Wealth Institute.

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Canada's Baby Boomers have some major catching up to do if they want to meet their retirement goals, says a new study.

Boomers are, on average, $400,000 short of their $658,000 nest egg retirement goal, according to the survey by the BMO Wealth Institute.

Using Statistics Canada figures indicating the average senior couple spent $54,100 in 2009, the report says a retired couple would need to have saved about $1.35-million to generate that $54,100.

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"As Canada's Baby Boomers prepare to head into their retirement years, many are discovering they don't have the funds they had hoped would be available and now face the reality that they have little time to play catch-up," said Chris Buttigieg, senior manager of wealth planning strategy at BMO Financial Group.

"However, it's encouraging to see that they are being realistic about their retirement needs and are considering other ways to manage the shortfall."

Strategies to generate more income include delaying retirement; taking on a part-time job to earn extra money after retirement; selling off collectibles, antiques and other possessions; selling the home or renting out part of it.

The study also found that 46 per cent of those surveyed are not confident they will be financially all right in retirement. That's up from 20 per cent in 2006.

And the survey results suggest that Boomers would like to retire, on average, at the age of 59 but figure they will have to stretch that to 63.

Of those polled, 34 per cent said they would like to retire in their late 50s (56-60), up from 29 per cent in 2006.

"Generally speaking, if a typical middle-class retirement costs in the area of $54,100 or so a year for a couple, they will need to determine how much they need to have saved and how much they can withdraw in order to sustain that retirement lifestyle," said Mr. Buttigieg.

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"The study's findings should send an urgent message to younger Canadians that they have to think beyond their immediate day-to-day financial needs and always have an eye on their future, particularly their retirement."

The results in the report are based on a Pollara survey with an online sample of 1,003 yet-to-retire Canadians that was conducted between Aug. 2 and Aug. 7, 2013. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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