On the Job – ‘Unretirement’

Sun Life Financial released a report on Canada’s first ever Unretirement™ Index. The report states that many Canadians now expect to work longer than in recent years. Nearly half of working Canadians believe they will be working past the traditional retirement age of 65 – the average age has been 61 in recent years. Nearly all of those who expect to work beyond age 65 cite one or more lifestyle reason for working longer, including remaining mentally active, enjoyment of their jobs, and the interaction with their co-workers.

Of the top three reasons Canadians identified for working past 65, none were about money or finances. And when asked to pinpoint their number one reason for working after 65, non-financial reasons still emerged at the top of Canadians’ list. Assessment of their health/physical fitness/diet is much higher than views of their personal finances, government benefits, employer benefits, or the general economy.

Working Canadians are torn between optimism and pessimism about their expectations of retirement. On a scale of 0 to 100, the Sun Life Canadian Unretirement Index survey found working Canadians on the fence at 50 – the exact middle-point between optimism and pessimism.

In order to achieve the lifestyle they want, Canadians are working beyond the age of 65 (unretirement), and this is actually Plan A for some. For others, unretirement is their Plan B – they need to work longer to pay for basic living expenses, or to achieve the quality of retirement they want.