November 19, 2019

Counting pennies: the frugal facts of retirement

What working Canadians can do now to ensure a financially secure future

  • Sun Life survey finds nearly half (47%) of working Canadians believe there is a serious risk they could outlive their retirement savings.
  • 44% of working Canadians expect to be employed full-time at the age of 66.1
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of Canadian retirees describe their lifestyle as 'frugal'.


Sun Life Financial Inc. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2019 /CNW/ - Getting ready for retirement is a real concern for Canadians – financial woes are to blame. According to the 2019 Sun Life Barometer, nearly half (47%) of working Canadians believe there is a serious risk they could outlive their retirement savings. This is all too common for many retirees with nearly a quarter (23%) describing their lifestyle as 'frugal'. Following a strict budget and refraining from spending money on non-essential items, 72% say their retirement is not what they were expecting.

"We have a unique perspective on how Canadians are thinking and feeling when it comes to saving for the future. For most Canadians, managing day-to-day finances is hard enough, let alone worrying about planning and saving for the future," said Jacques Goulet, President, Sun Life Canada. "Sitting down with a financial advisor and talking about your financial goals is a great first step. Whether it's travelling the world, paying down a mortgage or entering the years of retirement, a financial plan can help get you on track."

Among working Canadians, 75% don't have a financial plan and 44% expect to be employed full-time at the age of 66. It's never too early to start thinking about retirement, creating peace of mind for the future. Canadians of all ages and incomes can benefit from taking action and seeking expert advice when it comes to planning and saving.

Among the 'frugal' retirees who worked past age 66, nearly two-thirds (65%) said it was because they needed to work rather than because they wanted to work (35%). These Canadians simply aren't prepared for this chapter of their lives, with only 14% having a financial plan prior to retirement.

"Many Canadians don't realize their employer offers tools and resources designed to help them achieve lifetime financial security," said Tom Reid, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Canada. "Across the country, more and more Canadians can access workplace savings vehicles such as defined contribution pension plans, RRSPs and TFSAs. These are effective and easy tools for saving. Investing early and making contributions when you can will pay off in the long run."

Here are some steps Canadians can take now to build their retirement income:

  • Embrace the value of advice: Through holistic planning, an advisor can get to know you and your unique needs. Personalized and tailored advice helps to ensure you're managing your finances and saving for tomorrow. Take the first step – use Sun Life's Find an advisor tool to connect with someone near you.
  • Free money is free money: Canadians are missing out on billions of dollars of potential retirement savings each year by not taking full advantage of matching contributions by their employer.
  • Small steps turn into big leaps: It's important for Canadians to realize that small steps now can have a big impact later. This includes the basics of day-to-day budgeting and saving for shorter-term goals. Sun Life has a variety of tools and calculators to help you get started.


1 The age of eligibility for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS).

About the survey
The 2019 Sun Life Barometer is based on findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 28 and April 3, 2019. A sample of 2,901 Canadians was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel: 2,151 employed Canadians aged 20-64 and 750 retired Canadians aged 55-80. Weighting was employed to balance demographics to ensure that the composition of each sample (employed Canadians and retired Canadians) reflects their population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.

The precision of Ipsos online poll is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20, with credibility intervals of +/- 2.4 percentage points for the employed sample and +/- 4.1 percentage points for the retirees sample. 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
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life 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 September 30, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,063 billion. For more information please visit

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

Media Relations Contact:
Carson MacIsaac
Senior Communications Specialist
Corporate Communications
T. 416-979-6030

Counting pennies: the frugal facts of retirement (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.