BMO Report: Retiring Alone Presents Financial Challenges for Single Boomers

    TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - A growing number of Canadians are retiring alone
and need to take action to meet unforeseen challenges, according to a new
report from the BMO Retirement Institute. Along with the report, BMO released
the results of a survey which show a significant gap between the perception
and reality of becoming unexpectedly single and its effect on personal
finances and the importance of having a retirement plan.

    The survey reveals:

    -   More than half, 54 per cent, of married Canadians 40 or older feel
        that becoming suddenly single may have a negative impact on their
    -   More than 70 per cent of those who suddenly became single admit to
        feeling the pinch

    "Whether by divorce, death, or never marrying in the first place, the
odds of being single at some point during retirement are high," said Tina Di
Vito, Director, Retirement Strategies, BMO Financial Group. "Regardless of how
or why one finds themselves unmarried in retirement, one thing is certain: it
presents a unique set of financial, emotional, and planning challenges."

    Retirement for One

    The BMO Retirement Institute, launched in April 2008, provides insight
and financial strategies for those either planning for or in their retirement
years. The BMO Retirement Institute's latest report, Retirement for One - By
Chance or By Design, identifies a number of distinct challenges for men and
women over 40 who retire alone, such as:

    -   Lack of knowledge about retirement programs
    -   Must devote a larger share of income to living expenses, leaving less
        for savings
    -   Less room to maximize Canada Pension Plan
    -   Greater disparity between income and expenses
    -   Difficulty in housing alternatives

    The report identifies six key areas that, if properly addressed, can
improve a single person's chance for a successful retirement, including:

    -   Plan for retirement as early as possible
    -   Build and sustain wealth
    -   Understand income and expenses
    -   Consider changes in housing needs
    -   Focus on social and emotional well-being
    -   Devise a comprehensive health strategy

    Additional Survey Findings

    The BMO survey reveals Boomers may need a reality check about the impact
of becoming suddenly single.

    -   Few respondents said they were prepared for being suddenly single:
        Only 38 per cent of respondents had a financial contingency plan in
        case they outlived their spouse/partner.

    -   While few said finances played a role in their divorce, 13 per cent
        of married respondents feel the high cost of divorce is reason enough
        to stay married.

    -   Sixty-one per cent of women state that if they became single it would
        have a negative impact on their finances versus only 48 per cent of

    -   Women (40 per cent) who were suddenly single were slightly more
        likely than men (35 per cent) to have a financial contingency plan in
        case they outlived their spouse/partner.

    -   Twenty-four per cent of respondents felt that finances played a role
        in their separation.

    The Leger Marketing online poll was conducted between December 5 to
December 15, 2008 and is based on a sample of 1,325 Canadians aged 40 and
older. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 2.7%, 19 times out
of 20.

    Customer contact:

    EDITOR'S NOTE: A full copy of the BMO Retirement Institute report
    Retirement for One - By Chance or By Design is available <a href="">here</a>.

For further information:

For further information: Deborah Rowe, Toronto,,
(416) 867-4897; Lucie Gosselin, Montreal,, (514)
877-1101; Laurie Grant, Vancouver,, (604) 665-7596

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