Some 68 per cent of Canadians are saving for retirement, but the same percentage indicates they’re worried they’re not saving enough, according to a recent Scotiabank Retirement Survey.

The study shows that the average Canadian expects to need almost $700,000 in retirement savings – less than the $750,000 expected back in 2017.

Immediate financial needs come before savings

Findings from the 2019 Scotiabank Investment Poll also suggest that retirement planning has taken a back seat to more immediate financial priorities. Only 23 per cent of Canadians consider saving for retirement a top priority, down nine points from 2017.  As well, 66 per cent of Canadians are concerned that they have underestimated how much money they will need in retirement and nearly half (47 per cent) are concerned they will need to rely on family for financial assistance.

"As we approach the RRSP contribution deadline, we encourage all Canadians, whether you have a high-performing portfolio or are setting up your first RRSP, to connect with a financial advisor who can help chart a path to reach your retirement goals,” said D'Arcy McDonald, senior vice president, Retail Deposits, Investments and Payments for Scotiabank.

Start saving early

Of the 32 per cent of Canadians who are currently not saving for retirement, almost half (45 per cent) are between the ages of 18 and 35. "We know that younger people have different priorities at this time in their lives as they strive to get momentum in their careers, pay down student loans, and save for their first homes,” said McDonald. “The best advice we can give young Canadians is to start saving early for retirement. Even if it's not much, a small amount that's made through an automatic contribution is a great way to establish habits that will pay off in the long term as a critical part of your financial plan."

Half of the Canadians saving for retirement have not visited a financial advisor in the last 12 months and 39 per cent don't think they have enough money for a professional advisor to be interested in helping them.