June is Seniors Month in several provinces and territories across Canada – an ideal time to prepare financially for those future years in retirement or revisit your current strategy if you’re already retired.

The pandemic has in many ways forced us all to alter our financial thinking because of changing economic circumstances. Many older Canadians have had to reconsider their post-work finances and reassess where cash flow will come from when they’ve left the labour force and start enjoying a comfortable, secure – and fun – retirement. 

Canada’s inflation rate hit a new 31-year high in April, as prices surge for groceries, living expenses and other everyday items, part of broad-based cost increases that are getting tougher for people to avoid. Indeed, inflationary pressures can be more challenging for older adults who live on fixed budgets and may have limited income streams. 

As the proportion of the senior population in Canada continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to engage them in preparing financially for their future years. The pandemic has led one in five Canadians (21 per cent) to delay retirement further than planned, with more than half (56 per cent) concerned by the rising cost of living and worries of not having saved enough, according to the 2021 Fidelity Retirement Report.

Given the financial and economic headwinds we’re all facing, many older adults have had to sharpen their financial literacy skills. To be sure, whether you’re preparing for life during retirement or are looking to focus your expenses, it’s helpful to build responsible financial skills to live a secure lifestyle. An important part of that process is managing debt. While debt can be an effective tool to achieve financial goals, it has to be used responsibly. Here are seven tips on how to manage debt:

  1. Make bigger payments, if possible
  2. Pay off most expensive debt first
  3. Consider consolidating debt into a lower-cost vehicle
  4. Get help – talk to your bank early in the process of managing debt
  5. Discuss your repayment options with your lender
  6. Find extra money by finding ways to limit spending
  7. Consider talking to a credit counsellor

The Canadian Banker Association’s Your Money Seniors program offers a Cash Management seminar where we go into greater detail on how to prepare for retirement. The seminar is a free, non-commercial and one-hour long presentation that covers topics such as what retirement looks like today, where will the money come from, how to manage debt, and expecting the unexpected.

Book your seminar today and celebrate Seniors’ Month with a group in your community! 


Author: the Canadian Bankers Association