margaret janeckiby Margaret Janecki, EPC, Independent Advisor

While 39% of baby boomers agree retirement planning should begin when people enter the workforce, only 9% did that themselves, according to a Scotiabank study.

As of 2014, there are more than six million Canadians who are 65 or over. This group makes up 15.6% of Canada’s population. By 2030, the number will increase to 9.5 million, accounting for 23 % of the population. Statistics Canada reports that in 2011, Canadians lived an average of 81.7 years, up almost 25 years since 1921.

It was also noted that on average, disability that limits physical activities occurs around age 77.

Data from the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP) states that the number of seniors in Canada’s workforce doubled from 300,000 to about 600,000 between 2006 and 2013. This number is expected to grow as more Canadians enter retirement years without a company pension.

The top reasons for boomers staying in the workforce include:

  1. Feeling a desire to stay at work because of the sense of engagement and contribution that paid employment brings;
  2. Working out of necessity to support the household;
  3. Feeling a fear that they will outlive their retirement savings;
  4. Earning extra income to support lifestyle expectations; and
  5. Not having enough money saved up to retire comfortably could result in delays in when they decide to retire.

The top triggers for Boomers to start thinking about retirement are:

  1. When they have enough money;
  2. When their pensions begin; and
  3. When health reasons appear.

Baby boomers are well aware of the benefits to exercising on a regular basis: to improve overall health conditions, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and maintain their youthful glow. But many continue to work out grudgingly and miss the passion that drove them in the sports of their youth.

“Exercise is often perceived as a necessary evil. At the gym, there isn’t a lot of excitement or laughter – people are putting in their time almost as prisoners on their solitary workout stations. They’re working away, and relieved when it’s over,” observed James Gavin*, an Applied Human Sciences Professor with Concordia University.

While team sports and martial arts would appear to be reasonable solutions, boomers are starting to consider themselves too old for such undertakings. Therefore it is paramount for new marketing techniques for physical activity be developed to relay the multiple benefits in health and lifestyle throughout the retirement stages from independency to dependency.

During my years as an Independent Financial Advisor, I have become increasingly aware of the housing, health and care issues that my older clients require.

These concerns prompted me to become a certified Elder Planning Counsellor, so that I could provide my clients with not just financial advice, but health care support and direction as they move from junior seniors to senior seniors.

Housing costs for seniors varies according to the type. Supportive living accommodations, usually in apartment-style buildings, offer independence and privacy, as well as services and the costs vary widely.

Some are condominium units owned by the resident; others are operated by non-profit groups; still others are government housing projects with rents geared toward income.
Retirement homes are privately run, and vary widely in the type of accommodations, services and prices. They currently run between $3,000 and $6,000 a month.
If a senior plans to live with their children, they will need to determine whether the home will have to be modified and the cost of doing so, and whether caregivers will be required.

There are two options for hiring caregivers:

  1. Hiring care aides through an agency will run around $300 a day.
  2. Hiring privately, in which the family, not the agency, becomes the employer, which will come around $6,000 a month.

The advantage of an agency is that it will send a replacement if the regular caregiver becomes ill.

Long Term Care (LTC) homes, commonly known as nursing homes, are for people whose physical and cognitive abilities are severely impaired.

Publicly funded homes are only partly funded by the provincial government. The fees paid by residents vary from province to province.

No matter what stage in life you find yourself in, it is never too late to start building a solid financial plan for your retirement years, which also takes into consideration your health care needs as you grow older.

I would be delighted to sit down with you and discuss how we can customize a plan that will help protect you and your assets from the unexpected.

Margaret Janecki

References: * Motivations for Participation in Physical Activity Across the Lifespan; a study which appeared in The International Journal of Well Being. Vol 4, No 1 (2014)
James Gavin, Matthew Keough, Michael Abravanel, Tatiana Moudrakovski, Madeleine Mcbrearty