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Debt till Death

Debt Canadians may be living longer, but they’re also taking longer to pay off their debts.

CIBC released survey results recently that suggest 72% of Canadians hold some form of debt.

In a separate poll from HomEquity Bank, nearly half of the respondents said they expect to carry debt into retirement.

Moreover, 19% of those age 45-60 expect to still be paying off their mortgage into retirement.

With Canadians living longer (roughly 81 years, according to the Conference Board, versus 71 years in 1961) and the length of retirements growing longer (the average retirement last ~20 years after you reach age 65), many retirees are facing a financial squeeze.

Life-Expectancy-Canada
(Click to enlarge)

The numbers speak for themselves.

  • 44% of those age 65 and older are still striving to pay off their debts
  • 48% of those age 45-60 said they don’t feel like they’re on the right financial track for retirement.

It’s therefore no surprise that a full 36% of those who intend to stay in their homes after retirement said they would consider leveraging their home equity to get through their older years.

That’s positive news for HomEquity Bank. It remains the only major provider of reverse mortgages in Canada after Seniors Money stopped lending in 2008. HomEquity originated $206 million in 2010 and there’s no sign its growth will halt anytime soon.


Chart source: Public Health Agency of Canada


Steve Huebl, CMT