Edmonton— While building a nest egg for retirement is a top priority for most Albertans, nearly half (48 per cent) of those who are attempting to do so said they are behind on their retirement savings goals. That’s according to the latest ATB Investor Beat. In the previous survey conducted in July, 2015, 40 per cent said they were struggling to save for retirement. Albertans who said they’re behind cited cost of living and unexpected expenses as the two most common reasons preventing them from being on track.
“It’s clear Albertans are feeling the pinch right now,” said Chris Turchansky, President of ATB Investor Services. “Now is the time financial institutions need to step up and help Albertans deal with the new financial reality many are facing or stay focused on their investment and savings goals.”
The current ATB Investor Beat survey was conducted in October, 2015, and included 1,024 respondents.
Two-thirds of Albertans agreed the drop in oil prices has had a strong impact on the province’s economy and 45 per cent of those surveyed said they have been personally affected by the downturn. Among those impacted, 41 per cent said they’ve had their salary either frozen or reduced, while another 19 per cent said they’ve lost their jobs altogether.
How are Albertans dealing with the downturn? Sixty-one per cent of those affected said they have reduced their spending, 23 per cent have stopped some of their regular savings and investment contributions and 14 per cent withdrew some of their long term savings and investments.
Despite the difficult times, only 10 per cent of Albertans felt it’s not a good time to save or invest, while 31 per cent believed it is a good time (60 per cent are neutral). Those numbers are consistent with the last Investor Beat survey.
When asked how much income they think they’ll need per year in retirement, 34 per cent of respondents didn’t know, by far the most popular answer.
“It’s more important than ever to have a clear vision of what you want your future to look like, even though the present is taking up more of your resources,” added Turchansky. “Albertans are tightening their belts right now and that might affect the way they think about saving and investing. Talking to a financial advisor is the best way to prioritize where your money is going, for today and tomorrow.”
Looking ahead, 84 per cent of Albertans don’t expect the saving/investing outlook to change over the next three to six months.
The Investor Beat survey is considered accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points. For complete survey results, click here.