TORONTO, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - Men and women in Ontario aren't quite as
confident in their ability to retire comfortably as their counterparts in most
other regions of the country, with 85 per cent of men and 81 per cent of women
saying they are very or fairly confident, according to the Couples Retirement
Study conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for Scotiabank. Only men and women in
the prairies display lower confidence levels in this area 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.
On the subject of retirement planning, 39 per cent of men in Ontario said
that they have thought about most aspects of retirement, compared to 30 per
cent of women. On the other hand, women, at 29 per cent, were slightly more
likely than men, at 25 per cent, to have focused on the financial aspects of
retirement. Men and women in Ontario are essentially on par with the national
averages in terms of those who said that they had not given much thought to
retirement planning, with 11 per cent of Ontario men and 15 per cent of women
making this admission.
"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 Bev Moir, Senior Investment Executive,
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."
Men and women in Ontario have noticeably different ideas when it comes to
how socially active they want to be in retirement. Thirty-one per cent of
women say they are looking forward to an active social life with a large
circle of family and friends compared to only 18 per cent of men. The only
other region of the country with a more pronounced gap between women and men
on this issue is Atlantic Canada.
"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 deep. 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 at all. 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
"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 Ms. Moir. "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
See: Couples Retirement Study(*) conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for
Scotiabank Backgrounder, October 9, 2007
Couples Retirement Study(*) conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for
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
- 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.
When asked what one thing worries them the most about retirement, 51
per cent of men and 53 per cent of women indicated some aspect of
financial security (e.g. having enough money, cash flow, outliving
- When asked what changes they need to make to their finances to
improve their chances of having a comfortable retirement, men and
women agree that the most important change is to pay down existing
debt, indicated by 41 per cent of men and 42 per cent of women.
Saving more is also important, 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 of women cite this as the solution.
From a lifestyle perspective:
- On the subject of the role of family and friends in retirement, 23
per cent of men said that they are mainly interested in 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 it
important to have 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 having a healthy retirement, women are somewhat 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
remaining healthy as they age. Nearly the same number of men (62 per
cent) say they are also focusing on taking good care of themselves
now, 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 than they are.
- Men expect that they will remain in the workforce for almost two
years longer than women. The average age at which men expect to fully
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)