November 01, 2023

One-third of Canadian Boomers say costs related to their health are driving their monthly retirement living expenses higher than planned

Sun Life's holistic approach to planning and solutions – spanning health, wealth and protection – empowers Canadians to thrive in all phases of life

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2023 /CNW/ - What do you picture when you think of retirement? More time to spend with family and friends. More time to travel and see the world. More time to enjoy hobbies. More time to volunteer and give back to others.

While working Canadians focus on saving for retirement to enjoy the gift of time, many overlook the impact health issues will have on both their plans, and their wallets.

In a new survey conducted by Ipsos for Sun Life, nearly a third (32%) of Boomers (fully or partially retired aged 58-77) cite health care costs as a factor causing their cost of living to be more expensive than anticipated in retirement, second only to inflation (83%). Housing costs (31%) and market volatility (23%) round out the top four reasons Boomers say their cost of living is higher than anticipated.

"Many retirees are not prepared or aware of the out-of-pocket medical expenses in retirement," said Jacques Goulet, President, Sun Life Canada. "These costs can have a significant effect on retirement, especially for those living with a chronic physical or mental health condition that requires ongoing treatment. With the cost-of-living climbing, a holistic plan that meets your health and financial security needs can help prevent this financial burden later in life," Goulet added.  

Nearly half (49%) of Boomers surveyed shared that they have a chronic physical or mental health condition that requires medication or treatment. Of those living with a chronic condition, nearly a third (32%) have or have considered changing their retirement plans to pay for health-related costs.

Lessons for Millennials

While Boomers are facing the reality of health care costs in retirement, Millennials are following in similar footsteps. Nearly a third (31%) of Millennials (aged 27-42) have a chronic physical or mental health condition requiring medication or treatment. Yet, over half (52%) of Millennials with a chronic health condition have not factored the cost of managing their chronic condition into their retirement plan. When broken down by gender, 61% of women and 43% of men have not factored in these costs.

"Having a holistic plan in place that includes insurance, wealth and health solutions has never been more important," said Rowena Chan, President, Sun Life Financial Distributors (Canada) Inc., Senior Vice-President, Retail Advice & Solutions. "Sun Life advisors specialize in helping Clients develop a creative strategy to help them understand the costs of aging, grow their wealth, and ensure all aspects of life are supported. These critical conversations with a trusted professional will enable Canadians to enjoy their retirement."

Whether you are in retirement or planning for it, Sun Life can help.

  • Find an advisor – Sun Life advisors offer trusted advice to help you build a holistic plan and ensure you have products and solutions in place to support you for many years to come.
  • Prospr by Sun Life – Sun Life's digital hybrid advice solution helps you identify, manage, and achieve your goals, with help from a licensed advisor.
  • Trusted wealth management – Building a secure financial future in a world of permanent uncertainty has never been harder. Sun Life Global Investments helps retail and institutional investors build wealth and manage risk through innovative products and solutions.
  • Sun Life Learning Labs – Check out Sun Life's free financial education webinars. Each webinar covers a different stage of your journey to retirement.
About the survey

The survey is based on findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 30 and September 1, 2023. A sample of 750 Millennials, aged 27-42 and 750 Boomers, aged 58-77 was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 4.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, for each sample had all Canadian Millennials or Boomers been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Sun Life

Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions to individual and institutional 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 June 30, 2023, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1.37 trillion. 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:                                                             
Kim Armstrong                                                                                
Director, Corporate Communications                                    
T. 647-535-2705                                                                                                                       

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.