Canadians may need to delay retirement as seniors care costs rise

CMA says the financial burden is increasing and federal action is required

Canadians may need to delay retirement as seniors care costs rise
Steve Randall

Canadians are living longer but the aging population means increased healthcare costs and other needs; and that will mean a larger financial burden for all.

The Canadian Medical Association commissioned a survey from Ipsos which discovered that 58% of respondents approaching the age of 55 say they will have to delay retirement to afford their health care.

And Baby Boomers believe that a failure to improve the health system will result in them having to pay more out-of-pocket for health care and more taxes.

At an event in Charlottetown today (5/22) the CMA is calling for action as federal, provincial, and territorial ministers meet in the city to discuss matters affecting Canada’s seniors.

"Meeting the health care needs of our aging population is a nationwide issue, with seniors across the country having to pay more out of their own pockets for the care they need," said CMA President Dr. Gigi Osler. "What we're seeing today reflects the limitations of seniors' care, and we can – and must – do better."

Growing, aging population
According to Statistics Canada, the number of seniors is expected to exceed the number of children aged 14 and under for the first time ever in Canada by 2021.

But many Canadians are lacking in readiness for retirement with more than half of respondents to a recent poll from Aon saying they are concerned about their ability to afford to stop working.

The Ipsos/CMA poll reveals that 88% of Canadians say they're worried about the growing number of seniors requiring more health care.

In 2018, Canadian caregivers and care receivers had to spend more than $9B out-of-pocket to care for their loved ones, a number that's expected to continue to rise.