Advisors need to become evangelists for retirement planning, says RBC VP

August 30, 2021

It noted that while 18% of respondents said they’d now be retiring later than anticipated pre-pandemic, that response was highest – 33% – in Alberta.

While the poll didn’t do a deep dive into why people are planning to defer retirement, Lowes said it looked like “they weren’t necessarily feeling ready from a financial standpoint.” That could be because of their investment portfolios or they were looking at how to finance their retirement plans.

RBC’s poll showed that those approaching retirement were also resetting their retirement savings goals. Those with more than $100,000 in investable assets now were estimating they need an average of $1 million – or about $50,000 more than RBC’s 2019 poll showed. About three-quarters of those, however, were falling short of their goal by an average of almost $300,000. Those with less than $100,000 in investable assets had also lowered their retirement savings goal – from $574,354 in 2019 to $533,153 in 2021 – but had a much larger savings gap of $472,991.

To help bridge their retirement shortfall, about one-third of respondents said they’d stay in their current home and live more frugally, a third said they’d return to paid work, and up to one-third said they’d downsize or move. Only 5% said they’d ask family for help.

Lowes noted that what was interesting about the gap, though, was that most people set their retirement thresholds without developing a financial plan with an advisor who could help them consider both their retirement lifestyle expectations and what they’d need to finance those.