IESOP: Independence and Economic Security of the Older Population

Abstract of Research Paper No. 21
The Role of Health and Age in Financial Preparations for Later Life
by Margaret A. Denton, Parminder Raina, Jason Lian, Amiram Gafni, Anju Joshi, Susan French, Carolyn Rosenthal, Don Willison

This paper concerns the self insurance preparations that people make for later life. Policy changes to the Canadian pension, old age security, and health care systems mean that the financial preparations that people make are becoming increasingly important as vehicles to economic independence in later life. Data from the Statistics Canada's Survey on Ageing and Independence are used to investigate the role of health and age in the financial preparations that households make for later life including contributions to RRSPs, savings, other investments, major purchases and access to company pension plans. Data are analyzed using logistic regression.

Findings indicate that compared to respondents in poor health, respondents in better health are more likely to have made financial preparations for retirement. Having an activity limitation is associated with increasing odds of making other investments, paying off debts and making other purchases. Middle aged respondents (age 50-64) are more likely to have made RRSP contributions than both their younger and older counterparts. However, the older respondents were more likely to have built up savings, made other investments and paid off or avoided debts. The implications for policy are discussed.

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Last updated: Dec 16, 1997.