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Mackenzie Investments Retirement Study: Canadians are Saving for Retirement, but Majority Lack Confidence on How to Manage Their Nest Egg

  • 86 per cent of working Canadians surveyed have started saving for retirement
  • But only 20 per cent are very confident on how to handle their investments

TORONTO, ON – September 23, 2021 – Mackenzie Investments today released its third annual retirement study, Mackenzie Retirement Reality Check 2021. The new report, based on a survey of employed Canadians 45+ and retirees that was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, finds that the overwhelming majority of working Canadians have started to save for their retirement.  But, despite this positive finding, only 20 per cent feel very confident about how to manage and grow their money once they enter their retirement years and just half (53 per cent) have given it any thought at all.

The study also revealed most Canadians remain confident about financial markets and held on to their investments amid the market disruption caused by COVID-19 last year, with the majority of respondents (59%) making no changes to their portfolios during the pandemic.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Just 18 per cent of employed Canadians feel very confident that they will have enough income in retirement to live the way they would like and only 29 per cent of retired Canadians are very confident that their income will last for the rest of their lives. 
  • Half of employed Canadians are currently working with a financial advisor, while only 45 per cent of retirees relied on an advisor or another professional to create a retirement plan.

“Canadians need to be applauded for making saving for retirement a priority— many seem to be on the right path,” said Ron Hanson, Head of Retirement, Mackenzie Investments. “However, saving is just the first step.  People are living longer and retirement lifestyle expectations are on the rise.  It’s critically important for people to understand not just the need to save for retirement, but also how to optimize the use of those savings in their golden years.  Working with a financial advisor can be enormously helpful in setting Canadians up for success.”

The study also found that working Canadians and retirees are aligned on key goals for retirement:

  • 80 per cent of employed people say their main goal in retirement is to live comfortably for the rest of their lives, with 83 per cent of retirees saying the same.
  • That was followed by travel, with 64 per cent of working Canadians and 59 per cent of retirees expressing a desire to explore places outside of home in retirement.

“Regardless of what Canadians want to do in their retirement years, they should feel confident about their finances – they’ve worked hard to create their nest-egg.  A financial advisor will help them plan wisely for the future and gain a sense of security about their investment strategies,” Mr. Hanson said. “Retirement savings growth doesn’t stop when you retire. There’s ample room to manage and grow your investments in retirement and feel confident in spending what you need to live the life you want.”

Mr. Hanson added that Mackenzie Investments has programs in place to provide financial advisors with insights to help their clients successfully prepare for retirement and help retired clients manage their portfolios throughout their retirement years. “Studies consistently show that those who rely on advice have higher levels of financial satisfaction, while many credit their advisor with helping them learn better savings and investments habits,” Mr. Hanson concluded.

About Mackenzie Investments

Mackenzie Investments is a leading investment management firm with $208 billion in assets under management as of August 31, 2021. 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. For more information, visit


About the Pollara Survey

This study was conducted with an online sample of a total 1,601 adult Canadians split between 851 retired Canadians and 750 working Canadians above the age of 45. The survey was conducted between June 30 — July 12, 2021.  Results from a probability sample of this size could be considered accurate to within ± 3.1%. percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


For further information, please contact:

Nini Krishnappa
Mackenzie Investments