This Valentine's Day, commit to financial security - Love yourself enough to start planning your retirement now



    TORONTO, Feb. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - It may be the height of RRSP season, but
chances are that today, many Canadians won't be thinking about investments;
they'll be thinking about romantic dinners. In fact, according to a national
study recently published by Desjardins Financial Security, many Canadians seem
to be inclined to spend more time choosing a new exotic restaurant than
planning for their retirement years.
    According to the annual DFS retirement survey, the proportion of workers
40 and over who say they have a savings accumulation plan is down to a low of
53%, compared to 62% of respondents in 2006. The rate drops even lower for
workers 40 and over with only a high school education (42%), for those with
household incomes of $50,000 or less (27%) and personal savings of $25,000 or
less, and for those who consider their physical condition to be poor or fair
(21%).
    "It is disappointing, but not surprising" says Monique Tremblay, Senior
Vice President, Savings and Segregated Funds, at Desjardins Financial
Security. "People tell us that they can't imagine their lives five or ten
years down the line, let alone 30 or 40! Our challenge is not only to
communicate a certain sense of urgency, but also to show them it can be fun
and easy to save by giving them tangible strategies they can use today to
start on the road to a financially secure retirement."
    The survey also indicates that 28% of workers 40 and over who had a
retirement savings management plan had prepared it themselves. While there is
a considerable amount of financial information available nowadays, one might
wonder if those plans take into consideration a variety of factors and risks
that can have an impact on the yield and longevity of their nest eggs, such as
market-related factors (e.g., inflation), rising life expectancies and
healthcare costs.
    Tremblay adds, "In the years leading to retirement, many feel like they
have all the time in the world to plan and prepare for life after work. One
unfortunate consequence of this is that many Canadians entering retirement do
not have adequate savings in place or a prepared plan that specifies not only
how they will use their savings to generate retirement income, but also how
they will pay for the expensive care they might need in the last few years of
their lives."
    So this Valentine's Day, Canadians may want to consider buying some
simple chocolates and preparing a nice meal themselves and trading the
expensive dinners for the ultimate show of self-love: a hundred bucks in their
RRSP and a renewed focus on how they can better prepare for their future.

    About the Survey

    SOM Surveys, Opinion Polls and Marketing conducted the survey on behalf
of Desjardins Financial Security between July 24 and August 31, 2007. In
total, 1,505 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 2.6% at a 95% confidence level
(19 times out of 20). For more details on the survey results, please visit
www.rethinkretirement.ca .

    About Desjardins Financial Security

    Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the
largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in
individual and group life and health insurance, as well as retirement savings
products and services. Every day, over 5 million Canadians rely on Desjardins
Financial Security to ensure their financial security. Desjardins Financial
Security employs over 3,700 people and administers over $22.0 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 more information, visit www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com.




For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Truchon, Communications Consultant,
(514) 350-8700, ext. 8668, Toll free: 1-877-750-8700, ext. 8668,
Isabelle.truchon@dfs.ca; Virtual pressroom:
http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com/press

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Desjardins Financial Security

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