27 December, 2021 Retirement

The surprising truth about how much you need to save for a happy retirement

Dick Haas is here to tell you that retirement planning doesn’t always work out quite as smoothly as the online calculators suggest it should. 

Three divorces have eroded the net worth of the 73-year-old retired financial adviser in Fergus, Ont. so have the costs of looking after his girlfriend, who is afflicted with multiple sclerosis. As her primary care giver, Mr. Haas has had to purchase a van outfitted for handicapped access. He faces a constant trickle of other care-related costs as well.

“I’m on a fixed income, basically, so I really have to watch how I spend my money,” he says. With no company pension, he relies on Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS), as well as a modest investment portfolio, to generate about $42,000 a year in income.

If this story were to stop here, you might go away thinking of Mr. Haas as a prime example of Canada’s looming retirement crisis. That diagnosis would match the conventional wisdom on the topic. According to scary statistics publicized by many financial experts, Canadians aren’t saving nearly enough for their golden years.


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