Job security trumps retirement saving among 2009 concerns



    Older Canadians are also worried about healthcare costs

    TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Job security is the number one concern for 2009
among Canadians (32 per cent), followed by stock market performance (19 per
cent) according to a new poll commissioned by Edward Jones. The cost of
healthcare and saving for retirement were neck-and-neck at 15 per cent and 14
per cent respectively to round out the list, with 25 per cent of people over
50 identifying healthcare costs.
    "It is not surprising the economic news is fueling job worries, but
Canadians are worried almost as much as their American neighbours," says
Michelle Kay-Scott, senior retirement planning specialist for Edward Jones in
Mississauga, Ontario.
    The findings mirror fears in the same Edward Jones poll of Americans,
where job security ranked as the number one financial concern at 38 per cent,
followed by stock market performance at 23 per cent. Cost of healthcare was
the top concern of 20 per cent of Americans, while saving for retirement was
the number one concern of just twelve per cent.
    "Healthcare costs can jump for people 50 years of age and older and it is
becoming a significant issue," says Kay-Scott. "It is a good reminder that
healthcare costs should be a part of an overall financial plan for Canadians."
    Kay-Scott recommends the following tips to help Canadians who might be
concerned about job loss or the eroding values of their portfolios prepare for
the unexpected:

    
    -     Leave yourself a cushion - set aside cash reserves or put money in
          shorter-term securities. Investors should always have a plan in
          place for dealing with unforeseen events like a job loss or sudden
          illness.
    -     Estimate expenses - try to estimate out-of-pocket healthcare
          expenses as "necessary expenses" and factor these into overall
          budgets. Consider what other expenses you might have to worry about
          if you leave or change your job.
    -     Focus on what you can control - no investment performs well under
          all conditions, so don't make emotional decisions based on short-
          term market fluctuations. Staying diversified and taking a long-
          term outlook can help smooth out the normal ups-and-downs of the
          market.

    "Saving for retirement and the cost of healthcare go hand-in-hand because
Canadians need to be sure they have enough money put away for their retirement
to accommodate unexpected health issues," says Kay-Scott. "That's why it's
important for investors to make regular RRSP contributions, maintain
diversified portfolios and stay invested for the long-term."

    Other key findings from the survey:

    -     Canadian women are more concerned with the cost of healthcare than
          men (18 per cent, 12 per cent respectively)
    -     A quarter of all Canadians 50-plus rank healthcare concerns as
          their number one concern in 2009
    -     Half of Canadians age 25-34 rank job security as their number one
          concern in 2009
    -     Overall, Albertans (38 per cent) are the most concerned about job
          security compared to the rest of Canada with residents of Quebec
          and Ontario a close second (35 per cent, 34 per cent respectively)
    -     Older Canadians, 50-plus, are the group most concerned with stock
          market performance, almost a quarter (24 per cent) say this is
          their number one concern, national average is 19 per cent

    About Edward Jones
    ------------------
    

    Edward Jones is a full-service investment dealer with one of the largest
branch networks in Canada. It is a member of the Investment Dealers
Association of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund, and a
participating organization of the Toronto Stock Exchange. Including its
affiliates, Edward Jones serves more than 6 million individual investors in
Canada, the U.S. and the United Kingdom from more than 9,000 locations.
    Member CIPF.

    The Canadian survey results are based on an online survey of 1,020
nationally representative adults between February 12 and February 16, 2008 by
Harris/Decima. A sample of this size will provide results that can be
considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.





For further information:

For further information: Sheryl So, sso@environicspr.com, (416) 969-2725
or Jessica Davidson, jdavidson@environicspr.com, (416) 969-2735


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