Men and women in Atlantic Canada most confident in country on retirement planning, Scotiabank study finds



    FREDERICTON, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - Men and women in Atlantic Canada lead the
country in their level of confidence in their ability to retire comfortably,
with 93 per cent of men and 91 per cent of women saying they are very or
fairly confident, according to the Couples Retirement Study conducted by TNS
Canadian Facts for Scotiabank. These figures compare to the national averages
of 88 per cent and 83 per cent respectively and are well above men and women
in the prairies who indicate the lowest confidence levels at 80 per cent.
    The study examined attitudes towards retirement and lifestyle priorities
of Canadian couples with at least one partner over 50 and still working and
preparing for retirement. Each person was asked to fill out the questionnaire
separately to gauge a couple's true level of agreement.
    While women in the region are confident in their ability to retire
comfortably, it appears they have not given retirement much thought.
Twenty-one per cent of women in Atlantic Canada admitted this, which is above
the national average of 16 per cent and second only to women in Quebec at 22
per cent. Only five per cent of men in Atlantic Canada say they haven't given
retirement much thought, which is the lowest in the country and below the
national average of 10 per cent.
    "When individuals reach their 50's it is troubling to learn that so many
people have not given any thought to their retirement. They are essentially
planning for a whole new phase of life and to enjoy it to the fullest, it is
important to plan ahead," said Keir Clark, Senior Financial Planner,
ScotiaMcLeod. "A retirement plan that focuses on both lifestyle goals and the
financial solutions needed to help achieve those goals is essential. A
professional advisor can help articulate a client's goals and then work with
them to develop an appropriate financial plan."
    Fifty per cent of men in eastern Canada answered that they had thought
about most aspects of retirement, above the national average of 44 per cent.
Only 34 per cent of women in eastern Canada said the same, which is on par
with women in the rest of Canada. Twenty-seven per cent of Atlantic men and
25 per cent of women said that they had thought about the financial but not
lifestyle aspects of retirement.
    The most noticeable difference between men and women in Atlantic Canada
relates to the role family and friends will play in their lives after
retirement. Thirty-four per cent of women said that it was important to have
an active social life with a large circle of family and friends. This compares
with 11 per cent of men in Eastern Canada who answered the same.
    "While it may not seem like a priority now, a fulfilling social life is
one of the most important keys to happiness in retirement," said Barry
LaValley, Canadian retirement life goal planning expert. "Most men experience
a much harder retirement transition than women, simply because their social
network is often not as developed. We also find that widowers have a much
tougher time dealing with bereavement than widows for the same reason. These
are just a couple of examples to illustrate why it's so important to think
about how you want to spend your retirement, and explore different scenarios
because unfortunately life doesn't always go as planned." Mr. LaValley has
partnered exclusively with Scotia Private Client Group and ScotiaMcLeod to
help connect lifestyle considerations with an advisor's financial planning
expertise to ensure a successful transition into retirement.

    Planning for retirement

    Nationally, 10 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women admit they have
not given much thought to retirement. However, when asked what one thing
worries them the most, 51 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women indicated
some aspect of financial security (e.g. having enough money, cash flow or
outliving their finances).
    To the extent they have thought about retirement, 44 per cent of men
state they have thought about both financial and lifestyle aspects compared to
only 34 per cent of women. However, more women than men, 30 per cent versus
26 per cent respectively, said they have only considered the financial aspects
of retirement.
    "There are and will always be differences in the way men and women think
of and approach the transition to retirement but ignoring the subject all
together, or not thinking about all aspects of it will make for a rocky
retirement," said Mr. LaValley. "They need to understand the importance of
planning and how this impacts the financial aspects of their retirement plan.
A financial plan should be based on a life planning foundation, not the other
way around. In reality, however, most pre-retirees only consider lifestyle
goals as an after-thought."

    Life after retirement

    With respect to how the genders plan to spend their time once they've
retired, 45 per cent of male respondents said that they expect to work
part-time while only 34 per cent of women have the same expectation. Women, at
54 per cent, are more likely to volunteer or take on charitable activities
compared to 37 per cent of men.
    "Knowing what you want to do after retirement will make the transition a
lot easier," said Mr. Clark. "Discussing how you want to spend your time in
retirement with the people who are central in your life is critical to putting
together a comprehensive retirement plan."
    The Couples Retirement Study was conducted for Scotiabank using TNS
Canadian Facts' online panel. Respondents for the survey were couples that are
married or in a common-law relationship, with at least one partner aged 50 or
over and working full-time, and having household investable assets of at least
$50,000. A total of 489 couples participated in the online survey between
April 17th and April 29th, 2007. Final data are weighted to be geographically
representative of couples' families.
    Scotia Private Client Group and ScotiaMcLeod are part of the Scotiabank
Group. As part of a complete financial strategy, Scotia Private Client Group
provides customized solutions across all financial disciplines in Centres
across Canada including estate and trust services, private banking, and
investment management based on objective financial planning. ScotiaMcLeod is
one of Canada's leading full-service investment firms, with a team of over
1,000 investment and financial specialists delivering complete financial
strategies for clients in branches across the country.

    Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With more than 58,000 employees, Scotiabank
Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12 million customers in some 50
countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products and
services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking.
With $408 billion in assets (as at July 31, 2007), Scotiabank trades on the
Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit
www.scotiabank.com.

    See: Couples Retirement Study(*) conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for
    Scotiabank
    Backgrounder, October 9, 2007



    Couples Retirement Study(*) conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for
    Scotiabank
    Backgrounder, October 9, 2007

    Men and Women have different views when it comes to retirement both from
    a financial and lifestyle perspective.

    
    From a financial perspective:

    -   When it comes to confidence in their ability to retire comfortably,
        men are somewhat more confident than women; 88 per cent of men said
        that they are very or fairly confident compared to 83 per cent of
        women.

    -   Men and women are on the same page when it comes to agreeing that
        financial security is by far the most worrisome aspect of retirement.

    -   Men and women also agree that the most important change they need to
        make to improve their chances of having a comfortable retirement is
        to save more, although women (40 per cent) feel more strongly about
        this than men (34 per cent). Twenty per cent of men feel the change
        they need to make is to find investments with higher returns while
        only 15 per cent cite this as the solution.

    From a lifestyle perspective:

    -   On the subject of their social life in retirement, 23 per cent of men
        said that they would be happy spending time with just their spouse or
        partner in retirement. Overall, only 15 per cent of Canadian women
        felt the same, with 30 per cent saying that they envision enjoying an
        active social life with a large circle of family and friends.
        Conversely, only 20 per cent of men are looking forward to having a
        similarly busy social calendar.

    -   When it comes to their health, women are more proactive, with 67 per
        cent saying that they are taking steps now to maintain good mental
        and physical health to maximize their chances of enjoying a healthy
        retirement. Nearly the same number of men (62 per cent) say they are
        also focusing on taking good care of themselves while 29 per cent
        admit they don't pay enough attention to their health but know they
        need to make changes in the future. Men are also more likely than
        women to acknowledge that their partner is taking better care of
        their health.

    -   Men expect that they will remain in the workforce for almost two
        years longer than women. The average age at which men plan to retire
        is 62.9 years while the average for women is 61.1 years.
    




For further information:

For further information: Paula Cufre, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416)
933-1093


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