Retirement planning: Where does family fit?

Published December 16, 2021
 Family sitting on couch, wife in mustard sweater

When many Canadians think about retirement planning, we often don’t think about how retirement impacts more than just ourselves.

Families today have widened in definition – more than half of Canadians consider family "anyone they love and care for, whether they are related by blood, marriage or adoption." Additionally, families today are becoming more connected and interdependent, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.* According to Statistics Canada, over two million Canadians live in a multigenerational home, which often incudes the oldest generation.

Family is a high priority for many. Nearly two-thirds of retirees (63%) say they are willing to offer financial support to their family, even if it could jeopardize their own financial future.* However, it’s important to work with your financial advisor to anticipate how commitments may impact your life and finances as you prepare for and live in retirement.

Here are some common situations you that you may want to consider in your retirement planning conversations.

  1. Supporting adult children - Seventeen percent of all parents with adult children, around 1.8 million Canadians, have provided financial support to adult children since the beginning the COVID-19 pandemic.* Supporting your children into adulthood could have serious impacts on your retirement strategy and needs to be included as part of your plan.
  2. Contributing to grandchildren’s education - Spending time with grandchildren in retirement is a common goal. But if you’re looking to contribute to their education savings or to a particular activity for them, it could have an impact on your retirement strategy. Talk to your financial advisor about when and how to balance an education savings strategy with your retirement strategy.
  3. Caring for elderly parents - Canadians with living parents say they worry about their parents and talk with them more often; seventeen percent of those living in retirement said they are relying more on their adult children since the pandemic started. Supporting a parent (or two) into their later years could come at a considerable cost, especially if they are living in a long-term care facility. If supporting a parent is important to you, talk to your advisor about how to best plan for this.
  4. Aligning with your partner - You and your partner have travelled a long way together and probably plan on spending time together for many years to come. Depending on how each of you envision retirement, determine a strategy to meet all your goals. The sooner your goals are determined, the more time you have to plan. 

Talk to your financial advisor

Your advisor can help determine what it may cost to reach your goals, and how to best help to get you set up to fund them. Talk to your advisor today to ensure they have a full understanding of all your goals.

* Source: Edward Jones/Age Wave Four Pillars of the New Retirement study