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Canada has experienced a consistent increase in the age of retirement of its citizens over the last several years. From 2015 to 2019, the average age of people entering retirement has risen from 63.4 to 64.3 (Retirement Age by Class of Worker, Annual, 2020).
Life expectancy of Canadians continues to improve over the years. When CPP was originally founded in 1965 (Gerig & Myers, 1965), life expectancy was 71.87 (Life Expectancy at birth, Total (Years), n.d.). This number has steadily improved since and in 2017 it sits at 82.25 (Life Expectancy at birth, Total (Years), n.d.).
There are several noteworthy benefits for people to stay longer in the workforce.
– Affording a leisurely lifestyle
– Enjoyment of work
– Contribution to society
– Retaining essential knowledge of workplace
Statistics Canada reports that 34% of retirees aged 55 and above carry debt (Marshall, 2017). Median amount of debt for retirees is $19,000 while the average is $66,000. Debt levels can be broken down into the different categories:
– 48% of retirees between the ages of 55 – 64 have debt.
– 37% of those between the ages of 65 – 74 have debt
– 20% aged 75+ have debt
In 2018, an article was published by Statistics Canada which investigated the population of the workforce aged 60 years and over. The main points of this article are: almost 1/3 of people aged 60 years or older (equaling around 2.7 million people) worked or wanted to work within 2017 (Hazel, 2018). Of these people, half of this population needed to work for financial reasons. The chart below categorizes the demographic into 4 different sections and separates those working by choice or necessity. The immediate years following 60 experiences the highest ratio of those working due to necessities at 60%.
Further data was collected about which industries these peoples found themselves working in by choice vs necessity. From the chart below, fewer people stay in labour intensive trades, such as construction and manufacturing, compared to less labour intensive work such as professional, scientific and technical services. According to Statistics Canada, the around 12% of the workforce in 2020 is comprised of people who are 60 years of age or older (Labour Force Characteristics, 2020).
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