The big lie of retirement? That it’s a slice of paradise

The Globe and Mail

The latest annual edition of the Future of Retirement study by HSBC offers quite a good picture of what the real retirement looks like. If anything, it resembles our lives while in the work force.

In fact, this global study suggests the word retirement itself is becoming outdated as a result of our inability or unwillingness to fully detach from work. In interviewing 1,046 Canadians, it found that 17 per cent of people expect they will never be able to afford to fully retire. Of those who were divorced or separated, 24 per cent said they didn’t think they’d ever retire. That’s a key addendum to the “grey divorce” trend, where a growing number of people are ending their marriages in their later 50s and beyond.

The idea of moving gradually into retirement is clearly getting some traction. Among people aged 55 to 64, just over half said they expected to work part time after retirement, or were already doing so. Nearly half of the people in this group said their reason for working past retirement was to keep active physically and mentally. One-third said it was for financial reasons.

The report shows working people are showing some degree of pragmatism by saying they will able to retire at age 63, which compares to an average retirement age of 61 for their main earning parent. But even here, there may well be some wishful thinking on retirement readiness.

The big lie of retirement? That it’s a slice of paradise – The Globe and Mail.


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