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Goodwill Extends Beyond the Pocketbook as Canadian Boomers Head into Retirement


According to BMO survey, almost 9 out of 10 boomers plan to spend time doing non-profit community or charitable work in retirement

After years of working and raising their families, Canadian boomers are now turning their efforts to helping others. November 15th marks National Philanthropy Day and BMO Financial Group’s ongoing research on charitable giving and volunteering confirms that Canadians are becoming more charitable with age.

When BMO started looking into what boomers were planning to do in retirement in October 20051, it found that 16 per cent were expecting to spend “a great deal of time” in retirement doing non-profit and charitable work and 72 per cent said they expected to spend “some time” doing it. And the likelihood of spending “a great deal of time” doing charitable work increased with age:

* 15 per cent of those aged 45-54 were either already spending a great deal of time on this or planned to when they retire;
* 16 per cent of 55-64 year olds; and
* 23 per cent of 65-70 year olds.

When boomers were asked in a December 20062 survey to rank a list of activities that would most appeal to them at age 62, almost half (49%) of respondents ranked volunteering as a first or second choice.

BMO’s most recent research3 indicates that, currently, a third (34%) of Canadians aged 45 to 60 volunteer and a further 38 per cent of boomers who do not volunteer intend to do so when they retire.

Community-based charities are the largest beneficiary of boomer goodwill, with seven out of 10 of these volunteers dedicating their time to local organizations. Health and Wellness (27%) and Social Services (30%) were identified as the most common areas of commitment.

BMO’s Kris Vikmanis, Head of Retirement Market and Marvi Ricker, Vice President and Managing Director, Philanthropic Services are available to discuss:

* Regional similarities and differences related to charitable giving and volunteering
* Why boomers are becoming more charitable with age
* Things boomers should consider before becoming a volunteer
* Tips on how to get started and the options available
* The positive impact of recent legislative changes in taxation on giving
* Year-end tax planning and the December 31st donation deadline
* “Creative giving” options, such as securities and art, or through Donor Advised Funds and Private Foundations

BMO Financial Group and the New Retirement
Recognizing that retirement is changing for most Canadians, BMO Financial Group is committed to helping clients understand the new issues and challenges they face heading into retirement, while providing flexible and personalized options for mitigating them. BMO’s Retirement Your Way web site, found at:, provides an overview of the new realities to consider in the retirement planning process, supplemented with podcasts, case studies and external resources that are updated on an ongoing basis.

1 Based on an online survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid October 21 to October 27, 2005, among a randomly selected sample of 5,325 financial decision-makers age 45 or over with at least $25,000 in financial assets.

2 Based on an online survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid, November 30 to December 4, 2006, among a randomly selected sample of 1,411 Canadians aged 45-60.

3 Based on an online survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid, October 2 to October 10, 2007, among a randomly selected sample of 3,576 Canadians aged 45-60.

For further information on any of these studies visit


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