While Canadians expect longer retirements than most of their peers in other countries, they are among the least likely to seek information to guide their financial decisions, according to HSBC’s the Future of Retirement: Shifting Sands.

The report, released April 26, says Canadians expect to retire at age 62 and live to age of 85 on average. This compares to global averages of 61 and 81 years, respectively. Despite anticipating long retirements, only 42 per cent of Canadians said they actively seek information to guide their financial decisions, compared to the global average of 56 per cent.

The survey found that just 29 per cent of working age Canadians think they will be financially comfortable when retired compared to the global average of 34 per cent.

Lack of financial planning

"Our latest research suggests that the good news is that Canadians are anticipating to enjoy a longer retirement and lifespan than many of their global peers – the less than great news is that they're not actually planning for it," says Larry Tomei, executive vice president and head of retail banking and wealth management, HSBC Bank Canada.

The report also found that technology is playing an increasingly significant role in shaping individual’s retirement planning. "Interestingly, technology is really changing the way people plan and save for retirement; and while about one-third of working age people in Canada expect new technology will help make it easier to save for retirement – such as doing research online, using an online retirement calculator or trying out a robotic financial advisor – the data makes clear that many western nations are falling behind in terms of taking full advantage," says Tomei.

Do Millennials have it better or worse?

About half of Canadians surveyed believe that Millennials have experienced weaker economic growth than previous generations, while 54 per cent said they agree that “Millennials are paying for the economic consequences of older generations, such as the global financial crisis and rising national debt.” Meanwhile, 46 per cent of Canadians surveyed responded, “Millennials don't know how good they have it, enjoying a better quality of life than any generation before them”. This was below the global average of 54 per cent who held this view.

HSBC’s report surveyed 18,414 people across 16 countries and territories worldwide – including 1,003 in Canada.