Quebecers focus on 'covering the basics' of retirement
Investor sentiment slides through the first half of 2012
Quebecers less likely to invest in their home
TFSA's less appealing in Quebec
Fewer Quebecers indicate 'covering basic needs' as a top retirement goal
Quebecers rate charitable giving less important
First time Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index has polled 2,000
Regional-specific info-graphic attached
WATERLOO, ON, July 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Investor sentiment in Canada
continued to slide through the first half of 2012, according to the
latest Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index. Results from the
first half of 2012 show the Index now sitting at +24, down two points
from December 2011 (+26) and another five points from June 2011 (+29).
Overall, investor enthusiasm has decreased across almost all investment
vehicles, including fixed income investments, investment properties,
balanced funds and cash. The exception was appetite for investing in
the stock market, where sentiment is up by six points. Of note, Quebec
investors are less likely to indicate that it is a good or very good
time to invest in their home (62%) compared to British Columbia (74%)
and Canada (70%).
Measured against the December 2011 results, Canadians are less likely to
agree that it's a good time to invest in savings vehicles. Attitudes to
investing in mutual funds remain relatively steady this period with a
drop of only one point. In addition, TFSA remains high, but dropped
four points and RESP, RRSP and segregated funds all dropped
significantly - eight, seven and eight points respectively. Quebecers
are less likely to agree that it's a good or very good time to invest
in TFSA's with only 63% agreeing it's a good time to invest, compared
to 71% of all Canadians responding.
"Recent economic challenges, including the persistent financial
instability in Europe, help us understand why Quebecers remain cautious
about investing," said Paul Rooney, President and CEO of Manulife
Canada. "As these global economic challenges dominate headlines
without any significant signs of recovery, confidence in financial
markets will continue to be uncertain."
This was the first time the Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index
increased its sample size to 2,000 investors to allow for
regional-specific data and to help demonstrate similarities and
disparities across the country. The Index tracks Canadians' opinions of
various savings and investment vehicles and whether they believe it is
a "good" or "very good" time to invest minus those who feel the
Canadians' Outlook on Retirement
During this period, the Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index also
took a look at Canadians' retirement goals. The survey results indicate
that Canadians are increasingly considering retirement as a time where
the focus is on surviving financially, rather than enjoying the freedom
and lifestyle retirement brings.
Most Canadians surveyed indicate that covering the basic cost of living
is their most important goal for retirement with 88% noting it as
important/very important. While Quebecers agree that this is a top
priority, a lower 82% indicate it is important/very important. Other
provinces recorded responses more in parallel with the national
numbers. The traditional "freedom" goals, including travel, building an
estate for heirs and donating to charity, are all deemed important by
fewer than 50% of respondents.
How Family Income Influences Outlook on Retirement
Notably, as family income rises, the importance of 'covering the basic
cost of living' and 'covering the lifestyle I'm accustomed to' as a
retirement goal increases for Canadians. 'Covering the lifestyle I'm
accustomed to' peaks as family income rises over $100K, with 84%
classifying it as important/very important compared to the national
average of 72%.
While families with higher income are most concerned with maintaining
the lifestyle they're accustomed to, families with lower income are
more concerned about leaving behind estate. 'Accumulating an estate to
leave behind for heirs' peaks at 52% for those with family income
between $15-25K, compared to 36% nationally.
"These results indicate that despite changing expectations about
retirement goals and lifestyles across all those surveyed, families
with lower income maintain a strong desire to leave their families with
the resources to create better opportunities than they had for
themselves," noted Mr. Rooney. "Thinking about future generations is a
constant when it comes to retirement planning."
Giving to Charity
Nationally, 31% of Canadians rate 'donating money to charity' as a
priority - making this the lowest ranked retirement goal on the list.
This percentage is even lower in Quebec at 24%. Of those Canadians that
rate this as an important goal, most are between the ages of 18 - 29
years (43%) and 75 years and older (45%).
Young Canadians on Retirement
With the retirement of the baby boom generation, the economic landscape
in Canada will shift, and the greatest impact of that change will be
felt by young Canadians (ages 18-29 years). This period's results
indicate that younger Canadians are considering that potential impact,
showing a greater concern for long-term healthcare costs and providing
for family than their parents' generation. Retirement goals for young
Canadians differ from older Canadians in two areas. Younger Canadians
are more likely to identify covering healthcare needs (87%) and
providing for family in case of illness/death (88%) as top priorities.
Both of these categories decrease in importance with age. For example,
providing for family in case of illness/death ranked third overall with
80% of those surveyed stating it was important/very important. This
number decreases to only 66% with Canadian's who are 75 and over.
Another significant difference between generations is related to
investment vehicles. Nineteen percent of young Canadians select CPP/QPP
as their primary source of retirement funds, compared to the national
average of 13%. This is probably because young Canadians are less
likely to have other savings vehicles in place early in adulthood.
About the Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index
For 13 years Manulife Financial's Investor Sentiment Index has been
measuring Canadians' opinions about whether it's a good time or bad
time to invest in different asset classes and investment vehicles.
The index is based on a phone survey of 2,000 Canadians aged 18+. It
was conducted between May 2 and May 15, 2012 by Research House, an
About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group
with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In
2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients strong, reliable,
trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant
financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and
distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management
products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset
management services to institutional customers. Funds under management
by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$512 billion (US$512
billion) as at March 31, 2012. The Company operates as Manulife
Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE,
and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the
Internet at manulife.com.
Image with caption: "Visualizing Quebec's Retirement Priorities (CNW Group/Manulife Financial Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120718_C8892_PHOTO_EN_16277.jpg
SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation
For further information:
Tracy Van Kalsbeek
Public Relations Consultant
Manulife Financial Canadian Division