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Money or health? RBC poll finds priorities change as retiring boomers age


People approaching retirement worry about money, but people who have already retired worry more about their health, according to an RBC poll released today.

The majority (53 per cent) of pre-retirees are concerned about having enough money for retirement, compared to only 36 per cent of those who are already retired. By contrast, half of retirees (51 per cent) say they worry about their future health, compared to only two in five pre-retirees (41 per cent).

“Many people who are approaching retirement focus most on that magic dollar figure that promises a good retirement - but they could learn from retirees who find that money is simply not as important as health,” says Mike Reed, Head, Retirement and Affluent Client Strategy, RBC. “The experience of retirees suggests that planning for retirement is more than a money issue. We need to keep it in context by thinking about the other important aspirations that we all have in our retirement years, including our family and health priorities. It’s telling that money is not top of mind for two thirds of retirees (64 per cent) when they think about the future.”

Nearly three in four (72 per cent) of those in the retirement window say being in as good or better health than their peers was important to them, and women were more apt to think so (76 per cent) than men (70 per cent). Half of those polled (50 per cent) say being financially better off than their peers is important to them and an almost equal number (49 per cent) say being mentally and spiritually better off than their peers was very important. Again, women (56 per cent) were more concerned with being mentally and spiritually better off than their peers, compared to men (45 per cent).

Surprisingly, a majority (57 per cent) do their retirement planning alone, but almost all (92 per cent) want their partner, loved one or best friend to be part of whatever they do in the years ahead. Men (61 per cent) are significantly more likely than women (53 per cent) to prefer to plan their future on their own.

“People don’t always share their retirement plans with their partner,” comments Reed. “RBC’s unique approach to retirement planning, Your Future By Design, helps make these conversations easy and gives our clients a new perspective on retirement.”

Almost nine in ten respondents (89 per cent) spend some or a lot of the time thinking about what they want to do for themselves or their loved ones in the next 20 years. Among those polled who think about the future, approximately two in three (66 per cent) think it is important to have a plan for the future.

The RBC Retiring Boomers Poll was conducted by Ipsos-Reid from August 3 to 8, 2007. The online survey was based on responses from 2,037 adult Canadians between the ages of 50 and 69 with household assets of $100,000 or more. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.

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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