Never too early: Mature Canadians are confident about retirement but there is still work to do, Scotiabank study finds



    TORONTO, Oct. 25 /CNW/ - While eighty-five per cent of mature Canadians
say they feel confident about their ability to retire comfortably from a
financial perspective, a majority, almost 60 per cent, have not thought
through most aspects of retirement according to the Couples Retirement Study
conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for Scotiabank.
    "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 Bruce Teron, Managing Director and
Head of Strategy Development and Retirement Programs, Scotiabank. "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."
    Of the mature Canadians surveyed, 39 per cent indicate they have thought
about most aspects of retirement, including financial and lifestyle matters.
59 per cent have not planned for both elements -- 28 per cent have focused on
the financial side, and 20 per cent have given more thought to their lifestyle
after retirement than their finances. Thirteen per cent still haven't given
retirement much thought.
    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.

    Funding retirement

    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. Teron." 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. Teron. "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
www.scotiabank.com.

    See: Couples Retirement Study(*) conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for
    Scotiabank Backgrounder, October 25, 2007


    Couples Retirement Study(*) conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for
    Scotiabank 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
        plans.

    -   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-time.

    -   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
        work longer.

    -   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
        traveling.

    -   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: Deborah Spence, Scotiabank Public Affairs,
(403) 254-6830 or Bernard Boileau, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (450) 420-4595


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