Seniors’ greatest financial fears are running out of money and being unable to pay for long-term care, says a national survey by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and Credit Canada released May 29. 

The survey says 25 per cent of seniors fear they will run out of money before they die and the same percentage worry they won’t be able to pay for long-term care. Others fear not being able to pay off their debt; not having enough money to retire; having to sell their house, or needing to depend on their children for financial support. 

Working past 80

The survey reveals that one fifth of Canadians are working past the age of 60, and six per cent of those are 80 or older. Three in ten of those working past age 60 say they can’t afford retirement, one in eight have too much debt, over one quarter don’t have enough savings and12 per cent are still helping their children financially. On the positive side, nearly one third continue to work because they enjoy their job.

The report shows that 56 per cent of Canadians age 60 and older carry at least one form of debt, with a quarter carrying two or more types of debt. Credit card debt leads the way at 32 per cent, followed by lines of credit (23 per cent), mortgage debt (19 per cent) and auto loans (14 per cent). Thirty-five per cent of seniors age 80 and older are carrying at least one form of debt, including credit card debt (24 per cent) and car loans (9 per cent).

Decline of company pension plans

The report also highlights “a generational shift” in how seniors are supporting their retirement with a gap beginning to show among those who list a company pension plan as a source of income. Fifty per cent of those 80 and older list a company pension plan as a source of income, while the percentage is 41 per cent among those 60-69.

To learn more, consult the full report here.