Prairie men are significantly more likely than women to have thought about most aspects of retirement, Scotiabank study finds



    EDMONTON, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - Men in the prairies, at 46 per cent, are
significantly more likely than women, at 26 per cent, to have thought about
both the financial and lifestyle aspects of retirement, according to the
Couples Retirement Study conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for Scotiabank.
However, when you break it down, women (34 per cent) are much more likely than
men (19 per cent) to be concerned about the financial side of the equation.
    The study also found that while 29 per cent of women and 24 per cent of
men had only thought about the lifestyle aspects of retirement, a worrying 11
per cent of women and 10 per cent of men had given no thought whatsoever to
retirement.
    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.
    "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 Don McEwen, Director, Scotia Private Client
Group, Edmonton. "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 the prairies indicate the lowest levels of confidence in
their ability to retire comfortably, with 80 per cent of both men and women
saying that they are very or fairly confident - trailing the national averages
of 88 per cent for men and 83 per cent for women. Men and women in Atlantic
Canada indicate the highest confidence levels in this area, followed by
couples in B.C. and Quebec.
    In terms of the role they want friends and family to play in retirement,
men and women in the prairies are basically on the same page, with 22 per cent
of men and 25 per cent of women saying that they look forward to an active
social life and a large circle of family and friends. Similar to the national
scene, men in the Prairie provinces are more inclined than women to be mainly
interested in spending time with their spouse or partner. However, they trail
the national averages by quite a wide margin with only 14 per cent of men
(compared to 23 per cent nationally) and nine per cent of women (compared to
15 per cent nationally) indicating their main priority is to spend time with
their spouse or partner.
    "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 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. McEwen. "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.
        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
        their finances).

    -   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: Deborah Spence, Scotiabank Public Affairs,
(403) 254-6830

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