Haven't saved a penny for retirement? You're not alone

Saving for retirement can be scary. The stock market rises, then falls, along with your retirement funds. And how much money do you need? How long will you live?

These questions aren’t easy, but if you’re saving for retirement – saving anything, really – you’re in far better shape than many other people.
As reported recently in the Globe and Mail newspaper, nearly one in three Canadian youth between the ages of 18 and 34 haven’t saved anything for retirement.

The statistic was found in a report by the Bank of Montreal, which discovered that 27 per cent of young people haven’t thought about retirement, and only 10 per cent said they have thought “a lot” about retirement planning.

But how can that be? Regardless of what the exact amount of money needed for retirement, it’s in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. How do younger people expect to pay for their retirement?

“At that age, retirement is just not on people’s decision horizon,” financial planner Alexandra Macqueen told the newspaper.

She said that it’s difficult for younger people to handle so many large financial issues, including mortgages or rent, plus childcare and even student loans, to start thinking about decades down the road.

But just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean it’s not important. Many assisted living communities are affordable, but there’s no substitute for saving money, just to be safe.