Canadian Xennials face retirement-savings crunch

For members of this micro-generation, everyday financial obligations are getting in the way

Canadian Xennials face retirement-savings crunch
It seems that retirement planning is a challenge for every generation. Millennials feel burdened with many expenses, while boomers are facing unprecedented risks. And as it turns out, one less-known generation is also having a tough time.

According to an Environics Research Group survey commissioned by TD, 74% of Canadian Xennials — those aged 34-40 — say they would like to contribute more to their retirement savings, but are prioritizing daily expenses.

“We can all have the best of intentions when it comes to preparing for retirement, but then life gets in the way and we start to feel the retirement savings squeeze," said Jennifer Diplock, associate vice president of Personal Savings and Investing at TD Canada Trust.

Among members of that generation, 70% reported feeling overwhelmed because they have to balance saving for retirement with other financial obligations. These include common expenses like:
  • Monthly bills (cited by 60% of responding Xennials)
  • Credit-card and personal-loan payments (44%)
  • Mortgage payments (33%)
  • Childcare costs (24%)
  • Home maintenance (22%)
  • Repaying school loans (13%)
When asked whether they considered themselves too young to think about saving for retirement, Canadian Xennials were much less likely to agree (16%) compared to respondents who were between 18 and 34 years old (42%).

Based on data from Statistics Canada, 72.2% of households with a major income earner aged 35-44 have a retirement savings plan, registered pension plan, or tax-free savings account (TFSA). But in the TD-commissioned survey, 77% of responding Xennials said they plan to start contributing or increase their contributions to retirement savings funds in the next five years.

When asked how they felt about their retirement prospects, 52% of Xennials said they felt uncertain while 49% reported feeling unprepared. The survey also found that the stresses faced by Xennials also reflected the experience of other generations.

“The reality is that we all have to juggle our financial commitments to find the right balance when it comes to preparing for retirement," said Diplock.

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