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RBC survey finds 85% of British Columbians feel they haven't saved enough for retirement

Saving for one's retirement is a difficult and overwhelming task.
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A majority of British Columbians feel they haven't saved enough for retirement.

A new survey by Royal Bank finds 85% of British Columbians feel they haven't saved enough for retirement.

And, 33% expect to outlive their savings by 10 years or more.

The biennial survey looks at how financially prepared Canadians feel – and, apparently, they don't feel prepared at all.

Amid rising inflation and costs of living, the survey also found 68% of B.C. pre-retirees are anxious about spending their savings in retirement.

Only 16% of respondents reported sitting down with a financial planner (lowest nationally) to create a retirement plan.

Almost one quarter of (22%) said that their plan is “in their head.”

The numbers closely mimic national stats, but British Columbians are notably more anxious than the rest of the nation (55%), perhaps due to high real estate and rental costs. Fewer also have any kind of financial plan (43% vs 50%).

Women are more likely to feel they haven't saved enough (85% vs 82% nationally), and more of them expect to outlive their money (35%) – not surprising since women typically live longer.

To help mitigate any shortfall, it’s important to know all your expected sources of income in retirement and be able to forecast the amount of money you anticipate will come from those sources, says Rick Lowes, vice-president of retirement strategy at RBC.

“Trying to figure out your retirement income sources and the impact they will have on your cash flow and taxes can seem like a daunting task – but this is crucial to helping you plan ahead to manage any shortfalls,” says Lowes.

“After a lifetime of saving, we know it can be difficult to make the shift into spending those savings, particularly if you don’t understand your income sources and whether they will last throughout your retirement.

The RBC Retirement Myths & Realities Poll was conducted between May 21 and June 1, 2021, using a sample of 2,200 Canadians aged 50-plus.