Canadians struggle to put their money where their priorities are: RBC Poll

Twice as many boomers say homeownership is a financial priority compared to a year ago

TORONTO, Nov. 17 /CNW/ - Canadians say their top three financial priorities are retirement savings (50 per cent), homeownership (47 per cent) and regular payments to reduce or eliminate debt (41 per cent), but not everyone puts their money where their priorities are, according to the RBC Financial Priorities Poll.

Nearly half of Canadians with homeownership as a priority (47 per cent) don't put money towards it. Four-in-ten of those with retirement savings as a priority don't put money towards this goal. Canadians were more successful with their debt reduction, with eight-in-ten putting money toward this priority.

"We have so many complex and competing financial priorities today that it's hard to stay focused," said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC. "That's the main driver behind half of Canadians saying they need financial planning help."

Financial priorities have changed over the past year. More than twice as many Canadian boomers (aged 55 and over) named homeownership as a financial priority compared to a year ago (44 per cent versus 20 per cent from the RBC RRSP Poll conducted in October 2008). Among Canadians aged 35 to 54, homeownership grew in importance, with 44 per cent stating it as a financial priority, compared to 30 per cent in fall 2008.

"More boomers than you would think are struggling to balance homeownership with retirement savings as financial priorities," said Davies. "A financial advisor can help ensure your plan addresses both priorities and considers the additional financial obligations that come along with owning a home."

Although money issues always accompany major life events like job loss, retirement or marriage, many Canadians (58 per cent) find the emotional impact of these events to be more significant than the financial impact.

"The cost of a major life event is important, but costs are never as important as the actual experience," added Davies. "I'm a big believer in the fact that financial planning is much more than dollars and cents. It should reflect your personal life and what you want to do to make your life, and your family's lives, better."

About the RBC Financial Priorities Poll

The RBC Financial Priorities Poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid from September 10 to 17, 2009. The online survey of 1,231 Canadians was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results of this poll are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. With a representative sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE RBC

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Suzanne Willers, RBC, (416) 974-2727; Matt Gierasimczuk, Media Relations, (416) 974-2124


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