It’s no secret that a significant number of Canadians are simply unprepared for retirement, lacking adequate income to keep them in their senior years.
Research shows that one in three Canadians experience retirement insecurity, with those closest to the retirement years, 55-64 year olds, having only an average of $3,000 tucked away. However, the full tale of retirement unpreparedness doesn’t begin and end with meagre savings, it also includes healthcare costs that aren’t covered by government programs.
New research by the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) confirms that the costs of long-term care and other health-related expenses are not considered by many Canadians. The report, The Cost of Long-Term Care: Canada’s Retirement Savings Blind Spot, reveals that nearly 75 per cent of Canadians have “made no provision for long-term care costs in their retirement planning.”
Those costs include nursing-home care, assisted living in seniors’ residences, home care, and other related needs. A lack of adequate income to provide for such services “will be devastating for single Canadians, particularly women, who are more likely to require this type of care.”
Increased longevity stands to make the problem all the more serious.
“As Canadians live longer than ever, policymakers must look closely at how they’re going to deal with a population that is unprepared to handle the high costs of health-related expenses in retirement,” states the report.
The report is part of a series produced by HOOPP “to deepen the conversation around retirement security and the benefits of defined benefit (DB) pension plans.
“Research shows that there are several blind spots in Canadians’ retirement planning and senior poverty is going to become a reality for many. These articles demonstrate the need for retirement security measures and how workplace pensions could be the solution.”
Costs related to long-term care for seniors unable to afford it have serious implications states the report, including a “worsening of chronic conditions and higher healthcare costs as the burden on the publicly funded system increases.” It offers three key recommendations: Account for all of the out-of-pocket healthcare costs; Ensure adequate income replacement; Consider a national action plan.
“Canada needs to deliberate a plan of action that would address the growing needs of the most vulnerable seniors,” states the report.
Read the full report here.

About the Author

Hi. I am an experienced writer, editor, blogger and communications strategist, providing online and print content solutions