Men and women in B.C. are on the same page with retirement planning, Scotiabank study finds

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - Men and women in B.C. have given more thought
to retirement than couples anywhere else in the country, with 50 per cent of
men and 45 percent of women indicating that they have thought about most
aspects of retirement, according to the Couples Retirement Study conducted by
TNS Canadian Facts for Scotiabank. This puts B.C. men and women above the
national averages of 44 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women. Atlantic
Region is the only other area in Canada where half the men surveyed said they
have thought about most aspects of retirement.
    The study examined attitudes towards retirement and lifestyle priorities
of Canadian couples with at least one partner over 50 and still working and
preparing for retirement. Each person was asked to fill out the questionnaire
separately to gauge a couple's true level of agreement.
    In the case where they have thought about only financial aspects or
lifestyle aspects of retirement, B.C. men and women were on the same
wavelength with 28 per cent saying they thought only of the financial aspects
and 10 per cent thinking only of the lifestyle aspects.
    However, 12 per cent of men and 17 per cent of women had not given much
thought at all to retirement. This is the highest percentage of men across all
regions and above the national average of 10 ten percent. The women were below
those in Quebec and Atlantic Canada but were still above the national average
of 16 per cent.
    "When individuals reach their 50's it is troubling to learn that so many
people have not given any thought to their retirement. They are essentially
planning for a whole new phase of life and to enjoy it to the fullest, it is
important to plan ahead," said Trudy Hofley, Director, Scotia Private Client
Group, Vancouver and Victoria. "A retirement plan that focuses on both
lifestyle goals and the financial solutions needed to help achieve those goals
is essential. A professional advisor can help articulate a client's goals and
then work with them to develop an appropriate financial plan."
    British Columbian men and women share a high confidence level in their
ability to retire comfortably, with 92 per cent of B.C. men saying that they
are either very or fairly confident compared to 86 per cent of women in the
province - exceeding the national averages of 88 per cent and 83 per cent
respectively and on par with couples in Quebec.
    Men and women in B.C. are completely opposite though when it comes to
their views about the role of family and friends after retirement.
Thirty-seven per cent of men say that they are mainly interested in spending
time with their spouse or partner while only nine per cent of women say the
same. Women, at 58 per cent, are most interested in having a few close family
and friends around while only 40 per cent of men feel the same.
    "While it may not seem like a priority now, a fulfilling social life is
one of the most important keys to happiness in retirement," said Barry
LaValley, Canadian retirement life goal planning expert. "Most men experience
a much harder retirement transition than women, simply because their social
network is often not as developed. We also find that widowers have a much
tougher time dealing with bereavement than widows for the same reason. These
are just a couple of examples to illustrate why it's so important to think
about how you want to spend your retirement, and explore different scenarios
because unfortunately life doesn't always go as planned." Mr. LaValley has
partnered exclusively with Scotia Private Client Group and ScotiaMcLeod to
help connect lifestyle considerations with an advisor's financial planning
expertise to ensure a successful transition into retirement.

    Planning for retirement

    Nationally, 10 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women admit they have
not given much thought to retirement. However, when asked what one thing
worries them the most, 51 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women indicated
some aspect of financial security (e.g. having enough money, cash flow or
outliving their finances).
    To the extent they have thought about retirement, 44 per cent of men
state they have thought about both financial and lifestyle aspects compared to
only 34 per cent of women. However, more women than men, 30 per cent versus
26 per cent respectively, said they have only considered the financial aspects
of retirement.
    "There are and will always be differences in the way men and women think
of and approach the transition to retirement but ignoring the subject all
together, or not thinking about all aspects of it will make for a rocky
retirement," said Mr. LaValley. "They need to understand the importance of
planning and how this impacts the financial aspects of their retirement plan.
A financial plan should be based on a life planning foundation, not the other
way around. In reality, however, most pre-retirees only consider lifestyle
goals as an after-thought."

    Life after retirement

    With respect to how the genders plan to spend their time once they've
retired, 45 per cent of male respondents said that they expect to work
part-time while only 34 per cent of women have the same expectation. Women, at
54 per cent, are more likely to volunteer or take on charitable activities
compared to 37 per cent of men.
    "Knowing what you want to do after retirement will make the transition a
lot easier," said Ms. Hofley. "Discussing how you want to spend your time in
retirement with the people who are central in your life is critical to putting
together a comprehensive retirement plan."
    The Couples Retirement Study was conducted for Scotiabank using TNS
Canadian Facts' online panel. Respondents for the survey were couples that are
married or in a common-law relationship, with at least one partner aged 50 or
over and working full-time, and having household investable assets of at least
$50,000. A total of 489 couples participated in the online survey between
April 17th and April 29th, 2007. Final data are weighted to be geographically
representative of couples' families.
    Scotia Private Client Group and ScotiaMcLeod are part of the Scotiabank
Group. As part of a complete financial strategy, Scotia Private Client Group
provides customized solutions across all financial disciplines in Centres
across Canada including estate and trust services, private banking, and
investment management based on objective financial planning. ScotiaMcLeod is
one of Canada's leading full-service investment firms, with a team of over
1,000 investment and financial specialists delivering complete financial
strategies for clients in branches across the country.

    Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With more than 58,000 employees, Scotiabank
Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12 million customers in some
50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products
and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking.
With $408 billion in assets (as at July 31, 2007), Scotiabank trades on the
Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit

    See: Couples Retirement Study(*) conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for
    Backgrounder, October 9, 2007

    Couples Retirement Study(*) conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for
    Backgrounder, October 9, 2007

    Men and Women have different views when it comes to retirement both from
    a financial and lifestyle perspective.

    From a financial perspective:

    -   When it comes to confidence in their ability to retire comfortably,
        men are somewhat more confident than women; 88 per cent of men said
        that they are very or fairly confident compared to 83 per cent of

    -   Men and women are on the same page when it comes to agreeing that
        financial security is by far the most worrisome aspect of retirement.

    -   Men and women also agree that the most important change they need to
        make to improve their chances of having a comfortable retirement is
        to save more, although women (40 per cent) feel more strongly about
        this than men (34 per cent). Twenty per cent of men feel the change
        they need to make is to find investments with higher returns while
        only 15 per cent cite this as the solution.

    From a lifestyle perspective:

    -   On the subject of their social life in retirement, 23 per cent of men
        said that they would be happy spending time with just their spouse or
        partner in retirement. Overall, only 15 per cent of Canadian women
        felt the same, with 30 per cent saying that they envision enjoying an
        active social life with a large circle of family and friends.
        Conversely, only 20 per cent of men are looking forward to having a
        similarly busy social calendar.

    -   When it comes to their health, women are more proactive, with
        67 per cent saying that they are taking steps now to maintain good
        mental and physical health to maximize their chances of enjoying a
        healthy retirement. Nearly the same number of men (62 per cent) say
        they are also focusing on taking good care of themselves while
        29 per cent admit they don't pay enough attention to their health but
        know they need to make changes in the future. Men are also more
        likely than women to acknowledge that their partner is taking better
        care of their health.

    -   Men expect that they will remain in the workforce for almost two
        years longer than women. The average age at which men plan to retire
        is 62.9 years while the average for women is 61.1 years.

For further information:

For further information: Kim Struthers, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (778)

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