Retirees were hit hard by the recession

LÉVIS, QC, Dec. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian retirees who participated in Desjardins Financial Security's 2009 Rethink Retirement survey were three times more likely to see their income shrink this past year. This is in sharp opposition to the last Canadian Business 2009 Top 100 Richest Canadians list.

According to the Rethink Retirement survey, 35 per cent of retirees reported a drop in their personal income compared to 12 per cent who indicated an increase. By contrast, Canadian Business stated that the majority of Canada's wealthy became richer this year, reaching an average net worth of $1.7 billion.

However, only 6 per cent of the Rethink Retirement survey respondents enjoyed an income of $70,000 in 2009 compared to 44 per cent who managed an income of $30,000 or less. For many, this amount only covered basic living expenses.

Retirees also saw a drop in their savings and investments in 2009. Only 20 per cent recorded increases compared to 39 per cent whose savings dwindled in the past year.

But, unlike many Canadians, retirees carry the least amount of debt with only 46 per cent reporting debts of $1,000 or less. A quarter (27%) was able to reduce their financial obligations this year while 21 per cent went further into debt.

    
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    Retirees didn't increase their wealth this year
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    Percentage of retirees
    who reported:                 a drop in:              an increase in:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Personal income               35%                     12%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Savings and investments       39%                     20%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Debt                          27%                     21%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

About the Rethink Retirement(TM) survey

SOM conducted the eighth annual Rethink Retirement survey on behalf of Desjardins Financial Security in September 2009. A total of 1,524 questionnaires were completed by a representative sampling of Canadian workers and retirees who were randomly selected from Canadian internet panels. Data was weighted to reflect the distribution of the Canadian population in terms of the country's main regions (Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia), as well as by age, sex, and first language (mother tongue) based on Statistics Canada data.

About Desjardins Financial Security

Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in group and individual life and health insurance, and savings products and services. Every day, over five million Canadians rely on Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial security. The Company, which employs 3,800 people and manages more than $21.9 billion in assets, has offices in a number of cities nation-wide, including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Quebec City, Lévis, Halifax and St. John's. For more information, please refer to our website at www.desjardinssecuritefinanciere.com.

SOURCE Desjardins Financial Security

For further information: For further information: Christiane Côté, Desjardins Financial Security, (418) 838-7800, ext. 7797, 1-877-828-7800, ext. 7797, christiane.cote@dsf.ca; Virtual newsroom: http://www.desjardinssecuritefinanciere.com/presse

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