Canada’s growing group of senior citizens is carrying more debt into retirement and increasingly declaring bankruptcy according to a report prepared for the federal government by The Strategic Council for the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
The need to support dependent adult children who are taking longer to find work is contributing to the trend. Declining numbers of seniors are in registered pension plans. There is also evidence of growing income inequality among those 65 and older.
The number of Canadians working past the age of 65 has almost doubled in the last seven years with close to 600,000 seniors still in the workforce.
Seniors are struggling with so –called “financial literacy” experiencing difficulties staying on top of their financial affairs with advancing age. As a result, they are also more vulnerable to financial scams. Many seniors are unfamiliar with the online worlds which contributes to their struggles to manage finances.
Many seniors do not have enough money saved for their own retirements, but as they try to invest for their retirement, they are vulnerable to shark activity of financial advisors. In trying to increase the returns on investment seniors may lose their life savings.
The report urged governments at all levels to do more to promote registered pension plans and to pursue financial predators.
The report recommended that financial literacy strategies should take into account ageism, the stigmatization of older people and elder abuse.