Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Most boomers prepared to work longer for good life

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TORONTO -- Most Canadian baby boomers surveyed in a new poll say they would work longer to live better throughout their post-work years rather than opt to retire earlier.

The CIBC survey finds 57 per cent of Canadians aged 50 to 59 say they would prefer to work longer into their retirement years in order to uphold their current lifestyles.

However, the poll also suggests that 24 per cent of Canadian respondents in their 50s plan to carry debt into retirement.

CIBC says that approach could reduce their retirement cash flows and jeopardize plans to maintain their quality of life.

The findings come on the heels of a previous CIBC poll that suggests Canadians in the same demographic have fallen short of retirement goals, with nearly half having saved less than $100,000 for retirement.

Canadians are taking on debt like never before. The latest figures from Statistics Canada show the household-debt-to-income ratio has risen to a record high of 152 per cent.

Some experts have suggested low interest rates are luring older Canadians into piling on debt, something that could hurt their future living standards.

"Retiring with debt creates a drag on your retirement income, as monthly repayments will reduce cash flow and can actually limit your financial flexibility once you retire," says Christina Kramer, executive vice-president of retail distribution and channel strategy at CIBC.

"While some Canadians may feel they can incorporate monthly debt payments into their retirement, the reality is that repaying debt before retirement remains an integral component of maximizing cash flow."

The most recent poll was conducted for CIBC by Leger Marketing online among 805 pre-retired Canadians between July 5 and July 8.

A similar non-web-based survey would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 3.45 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 22, 2012 B17

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