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Mackenzie Investments 2nd Annual Retirement Study: Three-Quarters of Canadians Seeking Advice to Help Navigate the “New Retirement Reality”

According to Mackenzie’s Retirement Reality Check, working Canadians expect to retire later and need significantly more savings than current retirees

TORONTO, ON ­– October 27, 2020 – Mackenzie Investments today released its second annual retirement study, Mackenzie Retirement Reality Check 2020.  The new report shows that working Canadians will be facing a new retirement reality when compared to their parents and grandparents.  Further, they are seeking more insight and assistance from the financial services industry on how to effectively make the transition to retirement.

The study, conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, revealed significant differences in the retirement dynamics of working Canadians compared to those who are already retired:

    • Working Canadians expect to retire, on average, at the age of 62 (the average retirement age was 57 for those already retired).

    • They anticipate requiring more than twice as much in retirement savings ($878,000) compared to current retirees (who reported having, on average, $427,000 in savings when they retired).

    • Almost half of those who are not yet retired (45 per cent) plan to continue working in some capacity (versus just 9 per cent of those who are currently retired).

    • Non-retirees also have higher expectations for their ideal retirement lifestyle, with 76 per cent planning to travel extensively (versus 44 per cent of retirees).

    • Further, 51 per cent of those not currently retired  expressed a desire to be involved in philanthropic initiatives (versus 33 per cent of retirees).

Further contributing to the shifting dynamics of retirement is the relative decline of defined benefit pension plans, longer life expectancy, low yields, increasingly complex financial markets, and higher costs of living, including housing and health care.

“The study’s results show that, given their expectations, plans and the unique challenges they face, working Canadians need to address retirement planning and transitioning differently than their parents and grandparents,” said Carol Bezaire, Vice-President, Tax, Estate & Strategic Philanthropy, Mackenzie Investments.  “They face a new retirement reality that requires a new approach.”

The study also found that working Canadians have relatively low awareness and comfort with how they’ll be taxed in retirement, as well as estate planning, potential income sources, managing investments post-retirement and retirement budgeting.  However, there is a desire to become more knowledgeable in these areas with almost three-quarters (72 per cent) keen to enlist the assistance of a financial professional to help them prepare for retirement and ensure they have the insights needed.

“Given the challenges and time constraints working Canadians face on a daily basis, it’s not a surprise that most have not been able to focus on their future retirement,” noted Ms. Bezaire.  “However, it’s encouraging that they want to be more prepared.  This presents a huge opportunity for Canada’s financial advisors to further demonstrate the value of advice and work with clients to help them become more confident and empowered.  As an industry we need to shift the focus from just saving for retirement, to saving and making the transition to retirement.”

Ms. Bezaire concluded by noting that Mackenzie Investments has programs in place to provide financial advisors with the insights and support they require to help clients successfully prepare for and navigate their retirement years, including:

    • Access to the investment expertise and insight they need to address the new retirement reality.

    • A broad range of retirement income investment options and the portfolio construction expertise to help put it all together.

    • Professional services like tax and estate planning and access to an extensive suite of training resources.  

About Mackenzie Investments

Mackenzie Investments (“Mackenzie”) is a leading investment management firm with $147.3 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2020.  Mackenzie provides investment solutions and related services to more than one million retail and institutional clients through multiple distribution channels. Founded in 1967, Mackenzie is a global asset manager with offices across Canada as well as in Boston, Dublin, London, Hong Kong and Beijing. Mackenzie is a member of IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM), one of Canada's premier financial services companies with approximately $196.4 billion in total assets under management as of September 30, 2020. For more information, visit

About the Pollara Survey

This study was conducted with an online sample of a total 1,511 adult Canadians split between 759 retired Canadians and 752 working Canadian between 30 and 50 years old. The survey was conducted between August 7 – August 12, 2020.  Results from a probability sample of this size could be considered accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.  Results have been weighted based on age, gender and region to be representative of the Canadians population.  

For further information, please contact:

Rebecca Ellison
Mackenzie Investments