Jun 13, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Why retire when you can keep on working at something you love?

Some of the 28-percent of Canadians who are currently working and say they never expect to retire want to continue working because of personal drive and the desire to keep going.

But most likely it’s because they will have to rely on an ongoing stream of income beyond government assistance to support their aging needs and lifestyle.

The results of a new Yahoo Canada/Maru Public Opinion survey say from an age perspective, there is commonality among those workers who are most likely to indicate they’ll never retire.

The youngest employed Canadians (aged 18-34, 30-percent) are slightly more pessimistic about their retirement prospects compared to their older (55+, 28-percent) and middle-aged (35-54, 28-percent) counterparts. Perhaps not surprisingly, those earning the least (<$50k, 39-percent) are much more likely than those pulling in higher wages ($50K-$99k, 27-percent/100k+ 16-percent) to believe that retirement is not attainable. Men (28-percent) and women (27-percent) are equally aligned with this lack of retirement in their future.

As for those currently employed in varied occupations, there are more pronounced differences.

In ranked order, the following are the percentages by employment orientation of those who say they will never be able to retire:

Personal-service oriented worker (Pink collar) 39-percent

Manual worker (Blue collar) 38-percent

Skilled worker e.g., firefighters, chefs, teachers (Grey collar) 27-percent

IT/tech worker (Purple collar) 25-percent

Office worker (White collar) 18-percent

Other 31-percent

Those most likely to say they never expect to retire are predominantly from Atlantic Canada, followed by those residing in Alberta (31-percent), Ontario (29-percent), British Columbia, and those living in Quebec/Manitoba/Saskatchewan (23-percent).

For the majority (72-percent) of current workers who believe they’ll enter retirement at some point in their life, the speculated average age to do so is 60.6 years old.

Those workers who are the youngest are the most optimistic for an early retirement (aged 18-34 57.10) versus those who are more seasoned employees (35-54 61.40/55+ 66.0). Income differences for potential retirement ages appear nominal with those earning the least (<$50k 59.6) similar to those earning more ($50k-$99k 60.8/100k+ 60.4), while men and women (60.5) are equal in their projection.

For those current employees in various occupations, the following is the average projected age they plan to retire from the workforce:

Personal-service oriented worker (Pink collar) 57.2

Skilled worker e.g., firefighters, chefs, teachers (Grey collar) 59.6

IT/tech worker (Purple collar) 59.8

Manual worker (Blue collar) 60.9

Office worker (White collar) 61.3

Other 60.7

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