A firm majority of Canadians plans to work after the onset of formal retirement, mostly for economic or social reasons.

A new Harris-Decima survey conducted for Scotiabank polled more than 1,000 Canadians about their retirement plans and expectations.

Of the Canadians planning to retire, 69 per cent said they planned to keep working. Fifty-seven per cent of these respondents said they wanted to work to remain socially active by doing so, while 72 per cent said they wanted to remain mentally active.

However, the survey also found that 38 per cent of respondents think they will still be in the workforce because they won't be able to afford to stop working.

Canadians also reported a variety of plans for their retirement years:

  • Travel is on the agenda for 86 per cent of those surveyed
  • Spending time with friends and family is a goal for 72 per cent
  • Reading is an expected pastime for 61 per cent, while 60 per cent want to exercise
  • Taking up a hobby is on the horizon for 50 per cent of respondents
  • Just under a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) want to go back to school

More than half of Canadians (56 per cent) believe they can fund their retirement dreams with less than $1 million in savings. Twenty-eight per cent said they will need between $1 million and $2 million. The remaining 16 per cent expect that they will need to have more than $2 million to in their bank accounts.

Seventy-eight per cent of the Canadians planning to retire are currently saving money and have been doing so for an average of 15 years. Just over half of these future retirees (55 per cent) have put away less than $20,000 over the previous five years.

While these Canadians expect that their retirement will come from the usual suspects -- RRSP contributions and savings, the government, pensions and inheritances -- a small number of tomorrow's retired persons plan to reap dividends from the lottery (5 per cent) and their offspring (4 per cent).