Will You Be Among the Many Who Choose Not to Retire?

When Ledbury Research and Barclays Wealth in the U.K. surveyed higher-net-worth individuals around the world - people who could easily afford to retire - they found that 60% expect to be involved in some kind of commercial or professional work well beyond the traditional retirement age of 65. The survey called these people "Nevertirees."

Emerging trends

The survey results* reveal some interesting trends that may influence the way you think about your own retirement.

The choice to continue working crosses demographics. The desire to keep working is found in every age group, although those under age 45 embrace it most enthusiastically:

  • Under 45: 70% plan to stay in the workforce
  • Age 45 to 54: 65% plan to stay in the workforce
  • Age 55 to 65: 52% plan to stay in the workforce
  • Over 65: 50% plan to stay in the workforce

No link to source of wealth. Interestingly, the desire to stay in the workforce doesn't depend on how people earned their money. Entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives as well as those who inherited wealth all indicated a desire to keep working.

A global phenomenon. It's also a global phenomenon, with emerging markets leading the way. And the researchers believe it's a trend that will accelerate in the years ahead.

Not motivated by financial need. Even among people planning a more traditional retirement, the survey found that 40% of those over age 65 spend more than five hours each week working part-time. They're not primarily motivated by earning money, but by an enhanced sense of purpose and daily structure. Part-time work rounds out the time they spend with family, pursuing hobbies and socializing.

Life is unpredictable

A key message from the survey is that even a conventional retirement isn't predictable. The activities younger people assume they'll be engaged in when they retire don't always translate into reality. For example, 61% of those surveyed expected to spend more than five hours a week travelling, yet only 33% of those over 65 reported that they actually did.

What's clear is that with medical advances helping us live longer, healthier lives, full retirement at age 65 is no longer the norm. It's likely that an increasing number of people will remain in the workforce in some capacity, with "work" becoming "pleasure" when it's a choice rather than a necessity.

What does this mean for you?

You may have a very specific vision for your own retirement - whether you see yourself relaxing, working, travelling or all of the above. When the time comes, however, your ideal retirement may be subtly or dramatically different from what you imagine today. You may opt to stay in your existing job long past age 65. You may "downshift," reducing your hours to pursue other employment or business opportunities. Or you may retire completely, embracing the carefree lifestyle you've worked hard to achieve.

Whatever your choice, it's important to make sure your retirement plan gives you the flexibility to chart your own course. Your CIBC Financial Advisor can help you with your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) along with personalized investment, borrowing and cash management strategies designed to help you become a successful retiree, whichever path you choose.

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