It's trendy to build your financial future! - Canadians are determined to invest more time in managing their personal finances



    LEVIS, QC, Jan. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - In a time of turbulent financial
markets and economic uncertainty, Canadians are more inclined to take charge
of their personal financial future, as well as that of their families. Even
though the last Desjardins Group survey, Rethink Retirement, showed that many
are considering postponing their retirement by six years, 44% of those
surveyed stated that they have identified their financial priorities and have
planned specific actions to attain their goals.
    To this end, Canadians will use different approaches depending on their
priorities.

    
    - Keeping a budget: 70% are thinking of keeping a budget, managing it
      better or watching their spending;
    - Having better investment returns: 57% are planning on asking for advice
      from a personal finance advisor;
    - Paying off their debts: 55% plan on paying their mortgages more quickly
      or making larger payments. In addition, 50% specified doing whatever it
      takes to pay off non-mortgage debts;
    - Saving for retirement: 53% planned on setting retirement savings goals
      for themselves, and on establishing an action plan;
    - Saving for projects: 45% plan on setting savings goals or saving more;
    - Provide financial help to their children and grandchildren: 37% plan on
      setting investment goals to reach this objective; 27% mentioned that
      they will help family members, by paying for studies, a house or a car,
      for example.
    

    In the opinion of Eric Lemieux, Vice-President, Wealth Management of
Desjardins Group, "these findings are especially encouraging in our current
situation. They also demonstrate a true sense of responsibility and a real
desire to see into the future and build their financial independence, as well
as that of their loved ones. The capacity for self-help also confirms the fact
that this cooperative value remains as relevant as ever."

    An attitude which is growing in popularity

    This growing willingness to invest more time to build the financial
leverage required to achieve goals is becoming more and more widespread. Among
those polled, this was the case for:

    
    - 58% of those who have a written financial plan;
    - 54% of business leaders;
    - 52% of respondents from 25 to 44 years of age;
    - 52% of full-time workers;
    - 50% of workers who are 40 and over;
    - 47% of men and 40% of women; and
    - 30% of retirees.
    

    Mr. Lemieux concluded by saying: "The management of personal finances
must stem from adopting an overall vision of one's situation, in order to be
entirely effective and meet needs which are becoming increasingly complex.
This overall vision takes its full meaning when it also accounts for the needs
of every family member, as well as the differing but also complementary
perceptions of men and women."

    About the survey

    The main survey was conducted by SOM for Desjardins between June 26 and
August 12, 2008. Some 2,217 interviews were held with a representative sample
of adult Canadians, including 1,000 in Québec, with a margin of error of 2.4%
and confidence level of 95%, 19 times out of 20.
    A mini-survey was also conducted from October 21 to 23, 2008, which
validated some of the elements previously surveyed, because of the turbulent
financial markets. Some 1,150 interviews were conducted in Canada, including
400 in Québec. The margin of error was of 1.4%, with a confidence level of
95%, 19 times out of 20.

    About Desjardins Group

    Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada,
with overall assets of $150 billion, as at September 30, 2008. It comprises a
network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Québec and Ontario,
and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general insurance, securities
brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of which are active
across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000 employees and the
commitment of more than 6,500 elected officers, Desjardins offers its 5.8
million individual and corporate members and clients a full range of financial
products and services. Its physical distribution network is complemented by
leading-edge virtual access methods. To find out more, consult
www.desjardins.com.




For further information:

For further information: (for journalists only): Nathalie Genest,
Advisor, Information and Media Relations, (514) 281-7275, 1-866-866-7000, ext.
7275, nathalie.genest@desjardins.com


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