Canadians better prepared for retirement, survey data suggests

There's a lot of overlap between Canada and the United States, both geographically and culturally. Aside from the fact that the neighboring countries share a border, many Canadians will head south to enjoy vacation time in tourist destinations like Orlando and San Francisco. Meanwhile, Americans will do the same thing, taking in the sights and sounds of northern climes in locales like Toronto and British Columbia.

Traveling is one of the more common pastimes retirees take advantage of in their post-career years. It doesn't come cheaply, however, after factoring in hotel accommodations, airfare or gas prices for road trippers. But if the level of financial preparation is any indication of how often retirees will be taking to the skies or hitting the roads on long-distance adventures, Canadians have Americans beat by a mile, recent polling data reveals.

Approximately 80 percent of Canadians say they're successfully preparing for retirement, according to a 2015 report from management and consultancy firm McKinsey & Company. More specifically, of the 9,000 Canadians polled, 4 in 5 indicate that they're planning on retiring on time, according to CBC News.

Canadians loving retirement so far

"80 percent of Canadians say retirement has met their expectations."

Helping to corroborate Canadians' readiness are those already in retirement and enjoying it. In a separate survey performed by Investors Group, 80 percent of retirees say life after work is living up to their lofty expectations.

It's quite the opposite for Americans, including those who are on the cusp of calling it quits now that they're in their 50s and 60s. Approximately 1 in 4 - 24 percent - say they're not worried about savings lasting the duration of their retirement, according to a poll done by the Insured Retirement Institute. In 2011, just shy of 37 percent were confident about their retirement savings, making the 24 percent the lowest share in the survey's history.

Cathy Weatherford, CEO and president of the IRI, said many Americans are getting caught up in the here and now, not taking into account their futures and what their cost of living will be.

"The road to a confident financial future begins with developing a holistic retirement plan," Weatherford explained. "Unfortunately, most boomers are not taking important planning steps. Less than 40 percent have determined a savings goal, and just over a quarter are seeking help from a financial professional."

1 in 4 Americans have postponed retirement
Additionally, unlike many Canadians, nearly one-third of baby boomers in the U.S. have delayed their retirement plans, the IRI survey revealed. Over one-quarter of boomers expect to retire

"More Americans are retiring after 70."

sometime after they turn 70. In 2011, just 17 percent expected to retire in their seventh decade.

It's unclear what accounts for the differences in retirement readiness. It may be related to Canadians' abundance of caution. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians say they're finding spending in retirement a difficult balancing act, the Investors Group study revealed. More specifically, 64 percent indicate they're having a hard time negotiating how much to spend in retirement without risking their savings run out prematurely.

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