Four out of 10 Canadians are worried about how COVID-19 will affect their savings and retirement plans, with almost a quarter unable to contribute to their retirement nest eggs since the pandemic began, according to a recent CIBC poll.

The poll indicates that of those who feel COVID-19 has affected their retirement plans, many feel their expected vision for their post-work lives has changed. Almost a third (32 per cent) no longer plan on travelling or will travel much less than planned. Many Canadians also feel they will need to work longer than expected – for 30 per cent, this is due to a COVID-19-related loss of household income, and for 26 per cent, they feel the pandemic has significantly increased the cost of retiring. Additionally, out of those who intended to downsize their primary home in their golden years, 40 per cent are now unsure of the right time to make this move.

Men more confident than women

A higher number of men (68 per cent) say they feel confident about managing investments in retirement, compared to women (57 per cent). Women are also more likely to turn to friends and family for retirement advice (25 per cent), whereas many men (23 per cent) claim they make all decisions about money matters on their own.

"This is a pivotal time to get advice about your ambitions for retirement," said Laura Dottori-Attanasio, group head, Personal and Business Banking. "An expert can help re-assess your financial plan, create new estimates for retirement income, identify ways to improve cash flow and adjust timelines if needed to meet your overall goals."

The survey also found that one quarter of those between the ages of 34-55 and 20 per cent of Canadians over the age of 55 have been unable to contribute to their retirement savings since the pandemic began.