Single boomers like freedom, but have retirement worries, Investors Group survey reveals

    WINNIPEG, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - Single Canadian boomers treasure the personal
freedom of the single life, but also plan to work longer and have concerns
about who will care for them in their elder years, new research from Investors
Group reveals.
    The national survey of 2,628 singles between the ages of 40 and 60 years
is one of the first financial planning focused surveys of this demographic
    The study comes after Statistics Canada findings released in 2007
revealed a record 3.3 million households across Canada had only one resident.
Statistics Canada also found another first -- a majority (51 per cent) of
Canadians 15 years of age and older were not married.
    Investors Group research found personal freedom was a key value for
single boomers, with 89 per cent placing high value on being free to "do
whatever they want". The ability to manage personal finances without
interference was nearly as important - with 81 per cent citing it as an
advantage of being single.
    But going solo has its drawbacks.
    More than two in five respondents (43 per cent) said they will likely
retire later in life because they are single. Twenty-eight per cent say they
plan to work past the traditional retirement age of 60 to 65, and the majority
of this group (54 per cent) plan to do so because they need the income and/or
access to health benefits.
    In addition, 43 per cent of respondents without children worry that they
may not have someone to care for them in their old age.
    The survey also found that 40 per cent of single boomers don't have a
financial plan designed to meet the unique needs of being single.
    "Personal freedom is wonderful but shouldn't be taken for granted," said
David Ablett, Senior Retirement Planning Specialist at Investors Group.
"Singles may have the flexibility and advantage of doing whatever they want -
but they can't afford not to plan for the future. A personal financial plan
helps secure personal freedom into the future, especially for singles who
don't have the built-in support of a spouse or partner."

    Survey highlights

    It's great to be free....
    -   80 per cent of single boomers value their ability to choose the
        friends they want
    -   67 per cent like having the ability of taking holidays to their own
        preferred locations
    -   66 per cent like going to bed whenever they want
    -   An overwhelming 91 per cent of single boomers with a financial plan
        have retirement savings

    Or not.....
    -   Sixty-two per cent of respondents - both men and women - say lack of
        companionship is a drawback of being single
    -   Twenty-four per cent of respondents worry about having a close
        personal care provider in case of poor health

    Gender benders:
    -   Sixty-two per cent of females say a need for income and health
        benefits are the reasons they'll work beyond traditional
        retirement age, compared to 45 per cent of men
    -   Forty per cent of single boomer women have specific financial plans
        to meet their needs, compared to nearly half of all single men
        (46 per cent)
    -   Women (46 per cent) are as likely as men (47 per cent) to say that
        being single allows them to focus exclusively on career goals
    -   Not sharing the TV remote is more important for women (38 per cent)
        than it is for men (27 per cent)

    "The emergence of "singles" as a significant cohort has huge cultural,
economic and social implications," said Ablett. "Aging singles have very
specific life and financial planning considerations that should be addressed."

    A total of 2,628 surveys were completed with Canadian adults aged 40 to
60 between January 16th, 2008 and January 21st, 2008, using the Harris Decima
online panel. A sample of 2,628 respondents provides estimated proportions
that are accurate to within, at most, +/- 1.9% at the 95% confidence level.
That is, 95 times out of 100, the real value of the variable in the total
population will lie within +/- 1.9% of the estimated proportions provided by
the sample. One time out of 20, the real value of the variable in the
population will fall outside this range.

    Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering
personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of over
4,300 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive
family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a
wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services.
Investors Group is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of
companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services
companies with $117 billion in total assets under management.

For further information:

For further information: Ron Arnst, Investors Group, (204) 956-3364,; Teresa Pagnutti, Environics Communications,
(416) 969-2721,; Mike Langdon, Environics
communications, (416) 969-2820,

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