Retirement at age 65 is a decades old product of corporate defined benefit pension plans which began their gradual disappearance from the corporate employment world over 20 years ago.

It was simply too costly for companies to maintain.

This decision has had a direct impact on the loyalty of employees to corporations. A ‘career’ today includes 6 or more employers over 30 – 40 years vs one employer over 40 years. This is not conducive to achieving exponential growth in an individual’s personal accumulation of retirement capital.

As individuals approach their mid 50’s the cost of funding a pension increases exponentially – hence the gradual abandonment of these plans in the private sector.

Governments have largely maintained defined benefit pension plans as a competitive long term employment (i.e. retention) strategy – and it works.

75% of private sector Canadians do not have a defined benefit pension plan.

They are on their own through the use of their own savings initiatives – with no guarantee of sufficient capital to sustain an income throughout the 2nd 30 – 40 years (of retirement).

The challenge in having to accumulate sufficient retirement capital in the current economic environment is daunting for most middle income families.

The cost of credit card and other forms of personal debt is at an all time high (148% of net income) and does not leave much room for retirement or other forms of savings.

The result is that the current boomer demographic, namely, 14,000,000 Canadians who are at a pre retirement age (47) or are just entering their retirement years (65) are faced with the potential need to remain employed for 5 – 10 years beyond age 65.

In the 1960’s one income at $15,000/year supported a family of 3 – very comfortably.

How did we get from there to here?

We all know how.

We all know what it will take to resolve.

It is very tough 'stuff'.

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