The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many Canadians to re-think where they want to age, with 91% now reporting they plan to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
Despite this overwhelming preference to age in place, many older adults are financially unprepared for a safe and comfortable retirement at home. A number of factors contribute to this landscape of financial vulnerability, including low levels of personal savings, higher levels of debt, a scarcity of workplace pension programs, inadequate government-run retirement programs, and a care system that provides greater financial coverage for institutional care over homecare.
There are a number of strategies and programs that Canadians can use today to better secure their retirement, such as delaying the acceptance of CPP/QPP benefits, leveraging home equity assets, and purchasing private long-term care (LTC) insurance.
Lasting solutions, however, must include public policy reform in areas like the creation of a national public LTC insurance program, promoting financial literacy and retirement planning, and encouraging employers to offer pensions.
Laura Tamblyn Watts - CanAge: Canada’s National Seniors’ Advocacy Organization
Dr. Samir Sinha - Sinai Health and the University Health Network
Dr. Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, PhD FCIA FSA - National Institute on Ageing