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charting retirement

The aging of the baby boomer generation has been the dominant demographic trend for several decades now. One way to show how this phenomenon is unfolding is to chart some key five-year age groups over the long term. Starting with the 60-to-64-year-old age group, their numbers were steady from 1983 to 2000, but they have been rising dramatically since then – and are still rising today.

By contrast, Canada now has far fewer 45-to-49-year-olds than it did in 2010. Similarly, the number of people ages 50 to 54 peaked in 2014 and has been falling steadily ever since. Even the number of Canadians aged 55 to 59 is falling, which jibes with the fact that the last baby boomers were born in 1964.

When viewed this way, it becomes easier to understand the rise or fall in certain age-specific trends. Playing tennis and book-reading come to mind. The demand for financial services might also be affected. We can also expect to see fewer early retirement packages.

Frederick Vettese is a former chief actuary of Morneau Shepell and the author of the PERC retirement calculator (

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