Saving is the new black - Canadian women determined to make the most of what they have in 2009



    TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - As the current economic situation
continues to take its toll on everyone's pocketbook, Canadian women have more
incentive this year to take charge of their financial future. While the recent
Rethink Retirement survey by Desjardins Financial Security reveals that half
of Canadian women are considering postponing retirement by an average of six
years due to market conditions, it also shows that women aren't simply
accepting these setbacks. In fact, women are adopting a more take-charge,
can-do attitude towards their finances while making the most of what they
have.

    Debunking the myths about women and money

    While more men than women have traditionally been involved in financial
matters, the picture is changing: 20 per cent of women admitted having little
or no interest in preparing for retirement, compared to 27 per cent of men; 55
per cent said they hate being told that they are not saving enough for
retirement, compared to 62 per cent of men; and only 31 per cent said they
would rather not know how much they need to save, compared to 37 per cent of
men.
    "Women may be getting over what you could call the Sex and the City money
mentality, where the main characters did not give much thought to saving for a
rainy day," said Karrina Dusablon, Director, Education Centre and Global
Management at Desjardins Financial Security. "Budgeting and putting money
aside for retirement are hardly sexy plot themes, but many smart and
successful women are becoming more financially-savvy, and that's good."

    More action, less guilt

    Thirty-six per cent of women admit to feeling guilty that they are not
saving enough for retirement and 38 per cent believe they will never be able
to accumulate enough retirement savings. These two results are likely
contributing to why money is still the most often cited source of stress among
men and women. However, many Canadian women have said they are prepared to
make the following changes to save more for retirement:

    
    - 84 per cent would postpone a major purchase to avoid relying on
      financing or credit;
    - 79 per cent would take less expensive vacations;
    - 69 per cent would bring lunch from home rather than eating at a
      restaurant;
    - 66 per cent would significantly reduce the use of their car;
    - 61 per cent would reduce spending on sports or cultural activities; and
    - 56 per cent would consider getting rid of the household's second car.
    

    The only compromise that six out of ten women seemed reluctant to make in
the name of financial improvement was reducing spending on children's
activities, compared to 68 per cent of men.

    What next?

    Budgeting seems to be on many women's minds with 28 per cent of
respondents mentioning it as their number one financial priority in 2009,
while 24 per cent said they would make it a priority five years from now.
Paying off the mortgage and other debts were mentioned second as a priority
this year among 14 per cent of respondents respectively. Almost 20 per cent of
women said they would focus on saving for retirement and 12 per cent on paying
off their mortgages five years from now.
    "Every new year, women tend to make resolutions about improving their
health and wellness," said Ms. Dusablon. "We'd suggest that women pay special
attention to their financial health by making one simple financial improvement
in 2009. For example, always pay for food, including restaurant meals, in
cash. Also, if you are already contributing the maximum amount to your RRSP,
consider opening a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) with what you have saved as
the result of your cost-cutting measures. The best thing about financial
fitness is that you get immediate gain with very little pain."
    For more information on simple strategies to improve your financial
well-being in 2009, please visit: www.rethinkretirement.ca.

    About the Survey

    SOM Surveys, Opinion Polls and Marketing conducted the survey on behalf
of Desjardins Financial Security between June 26 and August 12, 2008. In
total, 2,217 interviews were conducted with a representative sample of
Canadian adults. The sampling plan provides proportional estimates with a
maximum margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 per cent at a 95 per cent
confidence level (19 times out of 20). The data was statistically weighted to
accurately reflect the composition of Canadians by region, gender and age
based on Statistics Canada's 2006 Census information.
    SOM Surveys, Opinion Polls and Marketing conducted another survey on
behalf of Desjardins Financial Security between October 21 and 23, 2008. In
total, 1,150 interviews were conducted with a representative sample of
Canadian adults. The sampling plan provides proportional estimates with a
maximum margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 per cent at a 95 per cent
confidence level (19 times out of 20). The data was statistically weighted to
accurately reflect the composition of Canadians by region, gender and age
based on Statistics Canada's 2006 Census information.

    About Desjardins Financial Security

    Desjardins Financial Security is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the
largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, and specializes in
providing life insurance, health insurance and retirement savings products to
individuals and groups. Every day, over five million Canadians rely on
Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial well-being. Desjardins
Financial Security employs nearly 3,900 people and administers over $22
billion in assets from offices in several cities across the country, including
Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, Lévis,
Halifax and St. John's.




For further information:

For further information: Sarah Twomey, Desjardins Financial Security,
(416) 926-2700, extension 2015, Toll free: 1-877-906-5551, extension 2015;
Virtual newsroom: http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com/press; Isabelle
Truchon, Desjardins Financial Security, (514) 350-8700, extension 8668, Toll
free: 1-877-750-8700, extension 8668; Virtual newsroom:
http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com/press


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