Image Source: 401(K) 2012 Are Canadian's really as poor as the media tries to make out? While some are influencing the public through the media to cool the market or eliminate competition for real estate deals, not all of the numbers support the arguments being made. In fact, in addition to a large percentage of the population proclaiming they'll soon be debt free, an investigative report by the Financial Post shows that many are richer and saving more than previously estimated. One paper shows the average household net worth in Canada is up 76 percent since 1999 and data also shows that the nation's retirement savings has doubled to more than 14 percent of income as of 2012. Four Trends Changing the Dynamics of Retirement Savings Needs 1.) Multi-generational Housing This is one of the biggest trends in housing of the moment and one of the largest pivots in decades. More and more North Americans are preparing to live in multi-generational housing situations. Not necessarily because they must, but because it is better on family finances. This could dramatically reduce the need for housing costs in retirement. 2.) Technology is Increasing Efficiency Developing technology is making life more cost efficient at many levels, including home healthcare, enhanced productivity during working years and less waste. 3.) Large Amounts of Home Equity Canadians have been spending big on housing. Yet they've already been experiencing steady rises in home equity. Even if there is a dip, more equity will come back and provide a cushion in retirement. 4.) Cash Rich While many Canadians may have debt, many more have a large reserve of savings as well. A strong cash position in addition to strong income levels are likely to mean that in the event of a decline in the Canadian real estate market, that property owners will be able to continue with their daily living and spending without too much financial inconvenience. What experts and leading minds all agree on is that having a consistent stream of passive income for retirement is just as important, if not more important, than having an old fashioned retirement “nest egg.” Saving for Success Saving is a great habit to build, as having liquidity and emergency financial reserves is very important. Yet, unnecessarily going overboard in hording depreciating cash can be very counterproductive. Despite how well off many may feel today, investing for retirement and establishing passive income streams early is critical. Canadian real estate is an incredible tool for creating income streams and long-term wealth building, as sophisticated investors maximize their efforts and results by investing in real estate.