A survey by Manulife Financial found almost one in five homeowners expect they’ll be accessing home equity to supplement their retirement income.

The Manulife Bank Debt survey, which questioned more than 2,300 Canadians, finding nearly one in five respondents see their home as part of their retirement income equation.

  • 10 per cent of respondents are planning to sty in their homes and borrow against home equity
  • Eight per cent are planning to downsize and use the excess equity to provide retirement income
  • Almost 50 per cent expect to be in debt at retirement
  • 46 per cent said they’d retire as scheduled, even with outstanding debt
  • 26 per cent would scale back their lifestyle until their debt was gone
  • 10 per cent would sell assets to pay down debt
  • 10 per cent said debt wouldn’t impact their lifestyle

“Often homeowners think of their home equity as a fallback plan for retirement income,” said Ricky Lunny, president and CEO, Manulife Bank of Canada. “The fact that one in five is proactively planning to use this strategy suggests they may be struggling to balance retirement saving with debt repayment.”