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Over half of Canadians see no appropriate age to retire and think retirement age is a personal choice: RBC poll


One-third of working Canadians will never retire

TORONTO, More than half of Canadians (57 per cent) feel there is no appropriate age for retirement and deciding when to retire is a personal choice, according to the 20th Annual RBC RRSP Poll. Nearly one-in-three Canadians (31 per cent) who are still working say they will never retire and one-quarter (26 per cent) think the term ’old’ depends on how you feel.

According to Statistics Canada, the average life expectancy of Canadians has steadily increased since 1979, with current life expectancy at birth listed at 78 years for men and 83 years for women. By age 65, men’s life expectancy increases to 83 years and women’s increases to 86 years.

“The average Canadian retirement age is about 62 years but boomers are increasingly choosing to stay working or return to the workforce after retirement,” said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC Royal Bank. “The form your retirement takes depends heavily on personal choices, but planning earlier will give you more options down the road.”

One-third of Canadians (35 per cent) feel that Canada’s aging population will be a financial burden and younger Canadians aged 18-34 are more inclined to feel this way (46 per cent).

“Boomers are the first generation to be faced with caring for aging parents as they near retirement themselves,” said Davies. “Ninety-one per cent are looking forward to ’me time’ in retirement, but the needs of family members may make this a challenge. That is why it’s important to set your retirement goals from both a financial and a lifestyle perspective.”

These are some of the findings the RBC 20th Annual RBC Poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between October 21 and November 2, 2009. For this survey, a national sample of 1,457 adults from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±2.56 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

Your Future by Design® is RBC’s distinctive approach to help clients identify, plan, and realize their goals for retirement. With the guidance of RBC financial planners and investment and retirement planners, Your Future by Design helps clients create a blueprint for a successful lifestyle and financial plan for retirement based on what is truly important to them in key areas in life, including family, health, home, lifestyle, work/business, mind and spirit, and legacy. To find out more about how RBC can help build a blueprint for the future, visit or call 1-866-335-4055.


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