Startling Gap Between the Lifestyle Expectation and Reality of Canadians 40+
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Over the last few years, we have seen many retired Canadians outliving their retirement savings and requiring a financial solution to help them live the rest of their retirement. In the media alone, there is a constant outpouring of articles relating to retirement planning, preparing enough savings for retirement, as well as numerous articles around when to tap into your CPP. For many retirees and those approaching their retirement, these articles are a reminder of how to prepare and what to anticipate. However, Canadians continue to struggle with their finances in their retirement years.
Many Canadians are entering their retirement years with debt and underestimating the amount they need to save for retirement. In a recent national survey of Canadian homeowners, 40+, that we commissioned, we found there is a large gap between the lifestyle expectations of those Canadians studied and the reality. In fact, a startling 69% of Canadians researched expressed confidence that they have sufficient funds to retire, however 43% of retirees studied have debt including a whopping 35% of Canadians 75+. While 78% claim to have savings and investments, a full 40% have less saved than $100,000. That means, the majority (53%) of Canadian homeowners 40+ have either no or less than $100,000 in savings to carry them through retirement!
The study further goes on to show that a significant portion (82%) of those studied, reported that having the ability to stay in their homes during retirement is very important and 69% value their home equity as an important asset in their retirement plans.
This study also enabled us to question the familiarity of the reverse mortgage product. More than half of the respondents claimed that they were familiar with reverse mortgages, and among those who would consider a reverse mortgage, 50% of them said that the main reason for considering a reverse mortgage is to supplement their income.
Many respondents wanted reassurance that they would continue to own their own home without ownership being transferred to a third party (yes-customers continue to own their own home!). The respondents also felt more at ease knowing that banks and other secure financial institutions offered the CHIP Reverse Mortgage (they do!) and if the solution was recommended by financial professionals (it is!).
This study is a reminder of how important it is to continue to raise awareness to the reverse mortgage product. Canadians prefer to age in place, are carrying debt and have inadequate savings, but many are directed to solutions that don’t give them the opportunity to live in their homes without the need for monthly mortgage payments. Reverse mortgages are a smart and comprehensible solution for Canadians planning their retirement.
The first step in getting a reverse mortgage is to find out how much your house is worth. As a CARP Partner, HomEquity is offering CARP members a cash rebate of up to $250 towards a home appraisal. Visit www.chip.ca/carp today!