Canadians not financially prepared to support aging parents

Survey also says less than one-in-three Canadians are familiar with helpful tax credits, grants and other financial tools

Mario ToneguzziA new survey indicates Canadians are not financially prepared to support their aging parents.

The survey, commissioned by FP Canada and Chartwell Retirement Residences, found that many Canadians expect that providing financial support to their elderly parents will have a major impact on their personal finances.

It also found than less than one-in-three Canadians say they’re familiar with the tax credits, grants and other financial tools available to help alleviate the financial impact of this support.

“One of the biggest concerns we see in retirement living is the avoidance of financial conversations between adult children and their senior parents. This can create uncertainty and prevent proactive planning for support later in life,” said Sharon Henderson, vice-president of marketing and communications with Chartwell Retirement Residences.

“We believe aging adults could benefit from supportive solutions like the lifestyle in a retirement community a lot earlier in their retirement years if they fully understood the costs, as well as their own finances and resources.”

The survey, conducted by Leger, found:

  • 14 per cent among those with a living parent said they expect that supporting their parents financially will cause them to postpone their retirement;
  • 12 per cent said they expect that it will prevent them from paying off debt;
  • Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 are particularly worried, with one-in-five expecting to postpone their retirement as a result of financially supporting their parents;
  • 28 per cent are familiar with tax credits associated with dependent parents, and males (31 per cent) are more likely than females (24 per cent) to say they’re familiar with these types of credits;
  • 22 per cent said they’re familiar with grants, loans, rebates and other financial assistance programs associated with renovating their home to accommodate their aging parents.

“The senior years can be financially challenging, and as a result, many older Canadians turn to family members for support. That can cause a significant financial strain, and as Canadians live longer, that strain will only grow,” said Kelley Keehn, author, personal finance educator and consumer advocate for FP Canada.

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business

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