Priorities shift since the start of the pandemic

(NC) Most of us look forward to retirement to enjoy leisure time or even pursue a second career, but COVID-19 has changed some of the activities we prioritize – even how we spend our money.

While living at home as long as possible and travelling still top the list of important activities in retirement, a recent survey reveals that for people aged 55 to 75 the importance of shopping for things they want, ordering lunch or dinner a few times a week, and having help in the home has declined considerably.

Meanwhile, since the pandemic, the number of older folks who consider healthy activities important, such as regular participation in sports and wellness, has doubled.

“The volatility and uncertainties of COVID-19 have affected us all in a variety of ways, including physically, emotionally and financially,” says Selene Soo, director of wealth insurance at RBC Insurance. “Not surprisingly, challenging situations like these often put what’s meaningful in our lives into sharper focus — things like health, family and even our personal legacy to loved ones.”

Indeed, half of older Canadians were able to save more money in 2020. And many have spent it in meaningful ways, such as providing financial support by helping family and friends who have been negatively impacted or increasing commitments to a family legacy or charitable giving.

Still, there is always room for improvement, particularly when factoring in pandemic realities such as market volatility or unexpected illness. Those closer to retirement can look to products that help protect, grow and preserve their money.

These include segregated funds, also known as Guaranteed Investment Funds (GIFs), that offer unique benefits to help you reach your desired retirement income, as well as annuities which provide a predictable income stream for as long as you live, regardless of whether financial markets rise or fall.

No matter which age or stage you’re at in your journey towards retirement, prudent investment planning can help you reach your financial goals.

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