A new survey says that Canadians, particularly those with rent or mortgage payments, are delaying retirement savings to deal with higher living costs. 

The new survey from Co-operators, released Tuesday, found that higher living costs had a larger impact on renters saving for retirement. In total, 77 per cent of renters indicated they either have not yet started saving for retirement or have not saved as much as they had planned. More than half of respondents with mortgage payments, 51 per cent, indicated they had saved less than planned for their retirement. 

“Canadians are facing a precarious and challenging situation as they try to prioritize their spending. As a result, many are putting their retirement at risk, especially those who pay a mortgage or rent,” Rob Wesseling, the president and CEO of Co-operators, said in the release. 

“This is a clear signal that today’s economic strain is jeopardizing the long-term financial security of most Canadians.” 

The survey found homeowners without a mortgage found it less difficult to accumulate retirement savings, with 76 per cent indicating they have met their retirement savings goals, the survey found. Additionally, 32 per cent of respondents in that demographic indicated they have exceeded their retirement savings expectations. 

More than half of homeowners without a mortgage, 57 per cent, said they believe their registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and savings will be sufficient to fund their retirement. However, the survey found that only 28 per cent of mortgage owners and 22 per cent of renters believed their savings and RRSP would be enough to cover their retirement costs. 

“These survey results show that Canadians are facing a tough choice – paying for living expenses today or putting some money away for tomorrow,” Jessica Baker, the executive vice-president of retail wealth at Co-operators, said in the release. 

Amid higher living costs, 43 per cent of renters and 23 per cent of mortgage owners indicated in the survey that they are unsure about how they will fund their retirement. Meanwhile, 13 per cent of mortgage-free homeowners face uncertainty about funding their retirement plans. 


Results were derived from an online survey with 1,500 participants across Canada between Jan. 24 to Jan. 30.