HALIFAX, Oct. 25 /CNW/ - Ninety-three per cent of mature Atlantic Canada
residents will rely on government pension programs as a source of retirement
income, according to the Couples Retirement Study conducted by TNS Canadian
Facts for Scotiabank. Fifty-eight per cent will use personal
savings/investments outside of an RRSP, 55 per cent will use their spouse's
employer sponsored pension plans, and 22 per cent are also counting on life
insurance proceeds to fund their retirement.
The study looked at Canadian couples with at least one partner aged 50 or
over who is still working and examined attitudes and planning for
post-retirement as well as financial and lifestyle priorities. Examples of
lifestyle priorities include travel, spending time with family and friends,
accommodations, and healthy living.
On average, residents in Atlantic Canada expect to fully retire by age
61. This early retirement age, a full two years before residents of Ontario
and the Prairies, has not translated into better financial planning, however.
The study found that 58 per cent of mature Atlantic Canadians have not
considered all aspects of retirement.
"We commissioned this study to better understand the degree to which
mature Canadians had planned for all aspects of their retirement, including
financial and lifestyle priorities," said Keir Clark, Senior Financial
Planner, ScotiaMcLeod. "What we found was that while Canadians entering the
transition to retirement have taken some steps towards planning for this stage
of their lives, there is still some work to do. A plan can be developed five
to 10 years in advance of retirement, but starting early will establish a
smoother transition and a retirement with the financial stability to provide
the lifestyle that the individual has worked so hard to achieve."
Residents of eastern Canada are still confident in their ability to
retire comfortably from a financial perspective with 92 per cent saying that
they are very or fairly confident.
At the national level, over half of Canadians surveyed expect that both
they and their spouse or partner will fully retire from the workforce before
the "traditional age" of 65. The average anticipated age for both partners is
62 years of age. On the one hand, 20 per cent of mature Canadians indicated
that they plan to work beyond the age of 65, but at the same time about
one-third believe they will fund their retirement income through continued
employment. This figure jumps to 76 per cent if Canadians do not have
sufficient money to fund their retirement.
"With improvements in health care and people taking generally better care
of themselves, we are seeing more Canadians choosing to work longer," said
Barry LaValley, Canadian retirement life goal planning expert. "Thorough
pre-retirement planning means that this decision is voluntary, rather than one
mandated by the need to continue to work." Mr. LaValley has partnered
exclusively with Scotia Private Client Group and ScotiaMcLeod to help connect
lifestyle considerations with an advisor's financial planning expertise.
The vast majority (85 per cent) of Canadian pre-retirees feel confident
in their ability to retire comfortably, driven largely by the belief that they
have sufficient savings and investments. At the same time, 31 per cent of
pre-retirees confessed that they did not know what percentage of their
pre-retirement income they would need post-retirement. Of the 69 per cent of
people who were able to answer that question, on average they thought they
would need approximately 68.5 per cent of their pre-retirement income.
"There is no magic number when it comes to post-retirement income," said
Mr. LaValley. "The amount of money you need is directly linked to how you want
to spend your time in retirement. That is why you can't focus solely on either
your financial or your lifestyle goals. A comprehensive retirement plan takes
into account a person's life goals and the finances needed to help them
achieve those goals."
Making changes today
Most pre-retirees feel that they need to make some changes to their
finances over the next few years to improve chances of retiring comfortably.
Paying down debt and saving more are the most commonly identified changes,
both cited by 4-in-10 mature Canadians.
"We work with clients every day to find practical ways to reduce debt and
save money," said Mr. Clark. "We invite Canadians to talk to us today to help
build for a financially secure tomorrow."
Life after retirement
More than half of mature Canadians are anticipating that their lives will
change a great deal after retirement and when thinking about what they want
their life to look like, 81 per cent say travel is their number one choice of
how they plan to use their time. This is followed by spending time with family
and friends (69 per cent) and pursuing hobbies (66 per cent).
"When people imagine their retirement, too many think in terms of an
extended vacation, rather than envisioning it as a whole new phase of life
that needs to be carefully planned," said Mr. LaValley. "To enjoy your life to
the fullest in retirement, you need to invest the time thinking about how you
want to spend your time and put a financial plan in place to ensure you can
fund that vision. Otherwise, you may discover that your personal vision and
financial reality don't mesh."
"We understand that trying to plan for this new phase of life is an
intricate task, however the good news is that Canadians don't have to do it
alone," said Mr. Clark. "Our advisors can help you put the pieces of the
puzzle together and then assist in creating a financial plan to help you
realize your ideal retirement lifestyle."
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 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
Backgrounder, October 25, 2007
Couples Retirement Study(*) conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for
Backgrounder, October 25, 2007
Canadians have big plans for life after retirement but haven't focused on
creating a plan to fund those dreams.
From a financial perspective:
- Thirty-nine per cent of mature Canadians say that they have thought
through most aspects of their retirement, considering both financial
and lifestyle issues. To the extent where they have thought of one
and not the other, 28 per cent have mainly thought about financial
issues and 20 per cent have mainly thought about their lifestyle
- Eighty-five per cent of mature Canadians feel confident about their
ability to retire comfortably from a financial perspective.
Twenty-one per cent of those are very confident and 64 per cent are
fairly confident about retirement. The main reasons for their
confidence are having adequate savings and investments (44 per cent),
having a good pension (23 per cent), and having planned for their
retirement (19 per cent).
- Among the 15 per cent of mature Canadians who are not confident about
their ability to retire comfortably from a financial perspective, the
top reasons cited for feeling this way were inadequate
savings/investments (50 per cent), an insufficient pension (11 per
cent), and inflation (10 per cent).
- Despite the fact that a strong majority of mature Canadians express a
high level of confidence in their ability to retire comfortably from
a financial perspective, 31 per cent admit they don't know what
percentage of pre-retirement income they will require to achieve this
goal. Of the 69 per cent who were able to answer the question, on
average they thought that they would need approximately 68.5 per cent
of their pre-retirement income.
- Over half of mature Canadians expect that both they and their spouse
or partner will retire before the age of 65. Twenty-nine per cent
expect to retire before the age of 60, 29 per cent between the ages
of 60 and 64, 15 per cent at the age of 65 and 20 per cent after the
age of 65.
- About one third of mature Canadians (36 per cent) expect to fund
their retirement through employment income. Twenty-nine per cent
expect to have income from continuing to work part-time and 14 per
cent expect to have income from their spouse or partner working full-
- If they lack the money to fund their desired retirement, 76 per cent
of mature Canadians indicate they would continue to work. Fifty-nine
per cent would work part-time and 37 per cent say that they would
- Half of mature Canadians have spoken to a financial advisor and
35 per cent feel it is the most valuable activity in preparing for
retirement. Of those who have prepared a formal financial plan,
71 per cent have done so with the assistance of a financial advisor.
- In terms of changes they need to make over the next few years to
improve the chances of a financially comfortable retirement,
42 per cent of mature Canadians cited paying down debt, 37 per cent
are looking at saving more, and 29 per cent hope to cut back on day
to day expenses.
From a lifestyle perspective:
- Forty-five per cent of mature Canadians are anticipating that their
lives will change a great deal after retirement. Thirty-nine per cent
think it will only change a bit while six per cent expect that their
lives won't change at all.
- Forty-three per cent of mature Canadians say they are most looking
forward to participating in leisure activities in retirement while
29 per cent say they are anticipating the freedom they will enjoy in
retirement. Mature Canadians expect to live an active lifestyle in
retirement with 81 per cent saying that they will spend their time
- Fifty-three per cent of mature Canadians will be happy in retirement
as long as they have a few close friends and family around. Twenty-
five per cent think it is important to have a large circle of family
and friends and 19 per cent are mainly interested in spending time
with their spouse or partner.
For further information:
For further information: Bernard Boileau, Scotiabank Public Affairs,
(450) 420-4595; Deborah Spence, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (403) 254-6830