Retirement tops Albertans’ list of financial concerns

Stock-market turbulence, lingering economic unease, and oil-price challenges are likely adding to the pinch

Retirement tops Albertans’ list of financial concerns

Retirement savings remain as a top concern for Albertans, ATB has found in its latest quarterly Investor Beat survey.

According to the Alberta-based firm, half of the survey respondents worried about not saving enough for retirement, while nearly a third thought they’ll be more than 70 years old by the time they can afford to leave the workforce. Nevertheless, only 28% reported making regular contributions to their RRSP, and a mere 17% said they have a documented financial plan.

Adding to the already considerable challenge are the unsettled stock markets, lingering economic uncertainty, and challenging oil prices that affect investors’ retirement portfolios. “Making money in investment markets is never easy, and it's even harder when markets are as volatile as they have been lately,” said ATB Wealth President Chris Turchansky.

The survey found a decrease in optimism on the Alberta economy from 46% in Q3 2018 to 38% in Q4. Confidence around the oil market and oil prices also dropped from 45% to 30% because of continued frustrations around pipelines construction and declining prices. Because of those factors, including political uncertainty, the number of Albertans who feel now is a bad time to invest rose from 10% to 14%.

And while there was a slight drop in the percentage feeling impacted by oil prices (52% in Q3 to 46% in Q4), an increasing number felt affected by:

  • Increased cost of living (42% in Q3 to 50% in Q4)
  • Decline in investment value (19% to 25%)
  • Decline in real estate value (18% to 25%)

“Emotions can erode the willpower to keep to your investment plan and lead to reactive decisions that can have a lasting impact on investors' long-term financial goals, including retirement,” Turchansky added.

Among the Albertans surveyed who have not retired yet, 51% said they want to do so between the ages of 60 and 69. Of those who are saving or have saved for retirement, 45% started before turning 30. And across all age groups, 48% worried that they won’t have enough time to retire; 44% thought their monthly expenses wold never allow them to save; and 35% fretted that they’ll be too old to enjoy retirement.


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