Retirement isn’t all about leisure: Consumerology Report

November 05, 2010  |  Jeff Beer  |  Comments

Many in the workforce pine for a slow-paced retirement of leisure, but a new report says most Canadians are financially unprepared for the post-career lifestyle of their dreams.

The latest Bensimon Byrne Consumerology Report, conducted by The Gandalf Group, surveyed 1,500 Canadians regarding perceptions and expectations about all facets of retirement. Predictably, it found that most desire early retirement. However, only a third of Canadians expect to be retired before 65 and almost one in five expect to be working after 70.

“As the workforce ages and people stay working longer, there are a number of upsides for marketers who traditionally target working Canadians in the bull’s-eye area of 30 to 50 for everything from apparel to transportation to hospitality and food service–all the things working people spend their money on,” said Jack Bensimon, president of Bensimon Byrne.

“As more Canadians work longer, that demographic is going to expand and create marketing opportunities for brands in those categories.”

The findings speak volumes about the difference between how Canadians hope their retirement will be compared to how they’ve prepared for it, Bensimon said. The study found that despite their lifestyle goals, pre-retirement individuals do not have the financial resources in place to make those goals a reality, partially explaining why they anticipate continuing to work for income.

Companies marketing to those in retirement or preparing to retire should take note, said Bensimon. “The vision of retirement as a time of nothing but leisure, travel and family isn’t going to be consistent with the reality most people experience, so associating retirement brands strictly with those activities probably won’t do those brands as much good.”

The report also found 85% of retirees believe retirement is the best part of their life, while 40% of current retirees say their standard of living dropped when they retired. Half of working Canadians expect they will need some financial support from family in retirement, the report said.

Also, 70% of existing retirees said they stayed in their family home and 60% of current workers said they expect to, yet two-thirds of homeowners are relying on their home for income in retirement.

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