Women May Have More Willpower, but BMO Study Finds Sexes are Equal When it Comes to Achieving Resolutions

    -  71% of Canadians say women have more willpower and determination (55%
       of men agree; 86% of women agree)
    -  96% of Canadians make New Year's resolutions, only 19% of both men and
       women achieve them
    -  More Canadians choose David Suzuki than Wayne Gretzky as their
       personal coach to help them achieve their resolutions

    TORONTO, Jan. 3 /CNW/ - Although willpower is especially useful this time
of year when many are making New Year's resolutions, it doesn't seem to be the
key ingredient: overall Canadians appear to have a mediocre track record when
it actually comes to achieving them.
    According to a BMO Financial Group study conducted by Angus Reid
Strategies, almost all Canadians (96%) make New Year's resolutions. Even
though three quarters of Canadians (71%) believe that women are stronger than
men when it comes to willpower and determination, the study found that both
sexes have equally low success rates with only 19 per cent of either sex
indicating that they generally achieve their resolutions.
    If your resolution this year is to work towards having a dream retirement
in 20 years, you are in the minority. The study reveals that when it comes to
thinking about the future, two-thirds of Canadians are planning only for the
next five years or less (12% are planning a day ahead, 31% a year in advance
and 23% are planning for the next 2-4 years). Approximately one-in-five
Canadians indicated that they don't plan at all. Only two per cent of
respondents indicated that they plan 20 years down the road, which could have
serious implications for their retirement planning.
    "If the key to a fulfilling retirement rests on sheer willpower alone,
women would likely be leading long and happy lives while men could find
themselves in the poor house," said Kris Vikmanis, Head of Retirement Market,
BMO Financial Group. "We know that Canadian boomers have some lofty ideas
about how they would like to spend their time when they retire, but many
people spend more time planning a week-long vacation than they do planning for
a retirement that could last 20 to 30 years."
    Vikmanis suspects the same thing that keeps many of us from achieving a
simple New Year's resolution can also undermine our dreams for enjoying a
comfortable and satisfying retirement - namely, the lack of a detailed plan
that maps out what we want to do and how we intend to do it.
    According to the study, more resolutions would be kept if Canadians
committed to creating a plan or asked for help. Almost two-thirds of
respondents believe developing an action plan or receiving professional
assistance would help them achieve their goals. Interestingly, 36 per cent of
Canadians believe having more money would help them meet their New Year's
    "Typically, January is the month during which we set out to make a fresh
start in our lives. Whether it's losing weight, changing careers or saving
more money, coming up with a clear goal and a plan of action are the first
steps to achieving it," said Vikmanis. "Although it does take willpower to
make changes to your financial situation developing an action plan in which
you assess your values, explore your dreams, and set some goals is an
important step - and it's not as daunting as it sounds. At BMO we've developed
a 'thought book' that can help our baby boomer clients begin to identify their
dreams and develop a plan to live a fulfilling retirement."

    Additional findings:

    Which do you think is the stronger sex when it comes to willpower:?

                         National    BC     AB   MB/SK    ON     PQ     ATL
    Male                    29%      36     24     30     36     22     18
    Female                  71%      64     76     70     64     78     82

    Do you generally achieve your New Year's resolutions?

                           Nat'l     BC     AB    MB/SK   ON     PQ      ATL
    Yes                     19%      28     18     12     18     22       8
    No                      13%       8     16     10     14     11      14
    Sometimes               53%      46     54     66     52     53      52
    Start strong, run
     out of steam           11%      11     11     11      8     11      22
    I don't make
     resolutions             4%       7      2      2      7      2       4

    What Canadian would you pick as your personal coach to help you achieve
your resolutions and other future goals and plans?

    (top 3 English choices)
    David Suzuki       14% of respondents
    Wayne Gretzky      11%
    Rick Mercer         8%

    What is your New Year's resolution for 2008?

    Top 3 choices:
                           Nat'l     BC     AB    MB/SK   ON     PQ     ATL
    Lose weight             31%      25     32     30     26     38      34
    Exercise                26%      23     13     32     24     32      30
    Save more money         26%      12     34      7     27     29      36

    From December 17 to 18, 2007, Angus Reid Strategies conducted an online
survey among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1025 adult
Canadians. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out
of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to Statistics
Canada's most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure
a representative sample of the entire adult population of Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: JoAnne Hayes, Toronto,
joanne.hayes@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Ronald Monet, Montreal,
ronald.monet@bmo.com, (514) 877-1101; Laurie Grant, Vancouver,
laurie.grant@bmo.com, (604) 665-7596; Internet: www.bmo.com/retirementyourway

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