canadians retirement savings

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After polling 16,000 people across 15 countries around the world, HSBC found that Canadians were the least downcast about the effects of the recession on their retirement plans.

The report based on the survey, dubbed “The Future of Retirement: A balancing act,” found that the aftershocks of the global economic downturn will be felt by millions of retirees for decades to come. However, only 18 per cent of the Canadians surveyed felt the recession impacted their ability to save for retirement, the lowest rate among the countries, and a significant step down from the overall average of 26 per cent.

That doesn’t mean Canadians are in the black, with a growing nest egg for their golden years. The survey also found that 40 per cent of Canadians said they aren’t confident in their ability to maintain a comfortable retirement, a slightly higher amount that the global average of 35 per cent.

For those polled who are currently working age, 35 per cent said they can’t afford to adequately prepare for retirement. For Canadians, that number was much higher at 44 per cent. The main culprit? Debt.

Of those surveyed, 52 per cent of Canadians said that paying off their mortgage and other debt was preventing them from getting their retirement savings act together. That’s slightly higher than the global average of 46 per cent, though lower than the US rate of 57 per cent.

“The global research suggests that Canadians may not be feeling the tailwinds of the economic downturn on their retirement savings simply because the chill of too much debt and a high cost of living is taking precedence,” said Betty Miao, Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank Canada.

But don’t expect Canadians to buy up more real estate to shore up their retirement funds: 39 per cent of those polled planned on partly bolstering their savings via investment properties, significantly lower than the global average of 65 per cent.

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