Some seniors in the Maritimes are finding themselves back in the workforce after they retire in order to keep themselves financially solvent.
Canadians over the age of 65 are much more likely to go bankrupt than they were two decades ago, and now have the highest bankruptcy and insolvency rates in the country, according to a new report from the Ottawa-based Vanier Institute. The report found that seniors were 17 times more likely to become insolvent in 2010 than they were 20 years before.
Patricia Armstrong of Caledonia, N.S., is one of many who has come out of retirement to make some extra money.
"If I knew when I retired what I know now I wouldn't have retired. I would have stayed working and put more money away," said Armstrong.
"You've got some put away if you need it, if you're stuck, but you don't want to spend it because something might come up so you don't have any extra money."
Nora Spinks, CEO of the Vanier Institute, said people have been living longer and are being encouraged to retire early. That combination is leading to much longer retirements than what were seen in the past.
"When baby boomers were born, a typical retirement span was three, five, maybe 10 years," said Spinks.
"Today we're looking at people retiring a little earlier. late 50s early 60s. and they're retiring with more debt to begin with. Their retirement savings now has to last them not three, five 10 years, but 10, 15, 20, 25 years."
Retirees are getting caught off guard with unanticipated medical costs and rising food prices, said Spinks, and are finding they don't have enough money saved to make it through.