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Life is good for retirees, RBC poll finds


A majority of retirees (79 per cent) believe that their quality of life improved in retirement, according to the results of the RBC Retiring Boomers Poll. And freedom from the daily grind of having to use an alarm clock seems to be part of this improvement, given that two in three retirees (66 per cent) say they never use one.

“Not using an alarm clock doesn’t mean retirees are slowing down. In fact, our survey found that two in three Canadians in the retirement window (67 per cent) are continuing to live their lives at the same pace,” said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategy, RBC.

However, boomers who have not yet retired are underestimating what life will be like in retirement. While more than half (56 per cent) of those approaching retirement feel that their quality of life will get better, this is more than 20 per cent below the actual experience of retirees.

Boomers are clearly focused on their health and wellness. According to the survey, the vast majority of those in the retirement window (90 per cent) say that they are becoming more aware of the need for wellness and personal care. As well, two-thirds of retirees (67 per cent) say they spend more time looking after themselves than they used to, with pre-retirees lagging somewhat behind (59 per cent).

“We expect that retirees will be taking better care of themselves and will be living longer as a result. Those who are approaching retirement need to think through the financial implications of this new reality,” Davies added.

A positive outlook emerges as a common theme, with a majority of retirees (57 per cent) and pre-retirees (55 per cent), stating that they are optimistic about the future. Both groups may be hoping that this positive attitude will increase their longevity, given that they also overwhelmingly agree that happy people live longer (94 per cent). Despite some of the fears associated with retirement, very few (about one in ten) of those in the retirement window feel nervous or worried when they think about their lives in the future.

“Good planning can help you make the most of your retirement and minimize fears and anxiety,” said Davies. “It’s unlikely that you will spend every day playing golf, so you need to think about what will give your life meaning once you retire, and our retirement life planning program can help you with that.”

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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