Retirement will be postponed for many Canadians according to a new study that says some 40 per cent of us are living too "close to the line" to save for one's golden years.

Lack of adequate savings will force 40 per cent of Canadians to postpone their retirement according to a study released by the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) on Thursday.

The study released on Thursday found that most Canadian workers, 57 per cent, continue to live from paycheque to paycheque and would be in a tight financial spot if their pay was delayed by even a week.

Things are tightest in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, where 64 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively, live hand to mouth.

"This is particularly troubling when you realize that even the older age groups are not saving for their retirement," said CPA chairman Dianne Winsor in a statement, noting that more than 40 per cent of working Canadians between 55 to 65 are less than a quarter of the way to their retirement savings goal.

Financial planners recommend putting 10 per cent of one's net pay towards retirement, and that three months' of living expenses (housing, groceries, utilities, etc.) should be kept on hand in case of emergency.

A majority of Canadians said they would need more than $750,000 to retire, though most have saved less than a quarter of that amount.

If there is a bright spot in the findings, it is that most Canadians know what they must to improve their financial standing -- with most (32 per cent) saying they need to cut spending, followed by paying off their credit cards (22 per cent), and reduce their mortgage (22 per cent).