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Canadians hoping for retirement at 61 - but most doubt it will happen: CIBC Poll

Many Canadians relying on best guesses when it comes to their savings plans

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2023 /CNW/ - A new CIBC poll finds that the average age Canadians hope to retire is 61, however over half of non-retirees (57 per cent) are now wondering whether they'll actually be able to achieve that ambition.

The poll also found that nearly two thirds (66 per cent) of Canadians not yet retired say they worry about running out of money during retirement and less than half (41 per cent) of those are feeling confident they are saving enough to achieve their retirement goals. Despite these worries, the vast majority of non-retired Canadians (85 per cent) do not have a formal financial plan for retirement.

When it comes to determining the amount of money needed to retire comfortably, the top methods Canadians are using include using their "best guess" (33 per cent), hoping they'll have enough (28 per cent) and calculating the amount on their own (21 per cent), with only 14 per cent arriving at a number with the help of an advisor.

While Canadians are thinking about retirement, more (57 per cent) are shifting their focus to meeting their current needs over planning for the future with one in four (23 per cent) of those with investments changing their approach to investing and four in ten (37 per cent) of those not yet retired saying they have delayed their retirement plans as a result of recent economic conditions.

"With the deadline to contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) quickly approaching, it's no surprise to see Canadians have retirement on their minds. Canadians are clear on when they want to retire, but most aren't clear about how it will happen and don't have a formalized plan in place. Setting the foundation with a plan can take the worry out of it and make you feel excited for that next chapter, knowing you're on track to achieve your dream retirement," said Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President, Financial and Investment Advice, CIBC.

Canadians' top ambitions in retirement include:
  • Slow down/enjoy their downtime: 43 per cent
  • Travel more frequently: 35 per cent
  • Spend more time with loved ones: 29 per cent
  • Make positive lifestyle changes (e.g., exercise more often, focus on health): 24 per cent
  • Start a new hobby/pursue a passion: 17 per cent

Among those with both a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and an RRSP, Canadians are prioritizing their TFSAs with slightly more than four in ten (42 per cent) saying they contributed more money to their TFSA than their RRSP in 2022.

Younger Canadians (aged 18 to 34) are looking forward to the launch of the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA) with nearly half (48 per cent) saying they will consider shifting some of their RRSP or TFSA contributions to the FHSA, once available.

"Whether you're saving for retirement, your first home or you're just trying to keep up with everyday costs, a financial advisor can help you create a customized plan so you can achieve your ambitions," added Lucreziano.

Other poll key findings: 
  • 69 per cent of Canadian investors have a TFSA account
  • The average TFSA stated contribution in 2022 was $9,146
  • 59 per cent of Canadian investors have an RRSP account
Research Poll Disclaimer:

This survey was provided by Maru Public Opinion using its sample and data collection experts at Maru/Blue January 31 to February 3, 2023 among a random selection of 1,544 Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada online panelists. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender, and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC  

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 13 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network and locations across Canada, with offices in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at


For further information: Kira Smylie, CIBC Communications & Public Affairs, 416-980-2949 or