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Young people unsure about retirement

Young people apparently aren't optimistic that they'll enjoy a comfortable retirement, with 80 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 not very confident they can save enough money, a new poll suggests.

Many young people are focusing on paying down debt rather than saving for their golden years, said the BMO study released Monday.

The job market is extremely competitive and a lot of graduates aren't able to find work and have significant debt, said Chris Buttigieg, senior manager in wealth planning strategy at BMO Financial Group.

"So it's a lot harder to think just beyond how are they going to put food on the table versus saving for their retirement which is 30, 40 years away," Buttigieg said.

The survey found that 94 per cent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 believe the Canada Pension Plan will play a role in providing funding for their retirement.

"They will still need to fund their own retirement," he said, noting the CPP pays out about an average of $500 a month.

But young people did realize the need for a Registered Retirement Savings Plan. The BMO poll found that 91 per cent of those surveyed also expected to rely on their RRSPs. The deadline for this year's contribution is March 1.

Still, the survey found that 46 per cent of respondents were more concerned about paying down debt, with only one-in-four more concerned about their retirement savings. And 77 per cent feared outliving their retirement savings while almost three-quarters worried about being unable to afford the lifestyle they wanted.

The Canadian Press


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