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February 17, 2016

Canadians are living on just over 60 per cent of what they earned before retiring

Sun Life survey finds almost 90 per cent of retired Canadians positive about retirement

TORONTO, Feb. 17, 2016 /CNW/ - A new survey released today found that Canadian retirees are living on 62 per cent of the income they had before retiring, despite this prolonged period of slow economic growth in Canada.

The Sun Life Financial Retirement Now Report also found that the majority of retired Canadians (88 per cent) described life in retirement as positive, with 32 per cent saying their biggest financial surprise of retirement is how they were able to manage on a reduced budget. Another 10 per cent said they are spending less than expected.

"This is the first time we've measured what percentage of pre-retirement income retirees are living on," said Kevin Dougherty, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. "Life in retirement is more sustainable than you might think. Despite current economic conditions, Canadian retirees are doing quite well living on just over 60% of the income they had when they were working. And this average doesn't change much when comparing men with women or taking marital status into account."

On average, retirees are spending $2,611 a month on expenses that include food, housing, healthcare and taxes. This is 24 per cent less than the $3,431 working Canadians spend each month on the same expenses.

When asked what advice they'd give working Canadians, their top three answers are:

  • Start saving and investing early (88 per cent);
  • Make taking care of your health a priority (88 per cent); and
  • Live within your means (85 per cent).

Today's retirees also have a good understanding of the value of professional financial advice. Sixty-two per cent of retirees who work with an advisor say they saved enough for their retirement compared to only 38 per cent of retirees who don't work with an advisor.

Click to see the full breakdown of retirees' monthly expenditures compared to working Canadians.

For more key findings and results on the Sun Life Retirement Now Report, visit www.sunlife.ca/RetirementNow.

About the survey

Ipsos Reid conducted the survey on behalf of Sun Life Financial. The online survey was conducted between December 15 and 23, 2015. A sample of 4,010 Canadians was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel: 2,004 working Canadians and 2,006 retired Canadians.

The data for Working Canadians were weighted to ensure the sample's regional, age, and gender composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2011 Census data. The data for Retired Canadians were weighted by region.

The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to within +/-2.19% at 95% confidence level had all Canadian adults been polled for both Working Canadians and Retired Canadians. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2015, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $891 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada

Yasna Criscione
Sun Life Financial
416-407-8426
yasna.criscione@sunlife.com