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Would you retire today if you could? Most Canadians say no, according to RBC Poll


Even with enough money to retire today, most Canadians (82 per cent) would continue to work, according to the latest RBC RRSP poll. Just over half (53 per cent) would work part-time or occasionally.

“For most Canadians, retirement doesn’t mean sitting in a rocking chair, watching the days go by,” said Lee Anne Davies, head, advanced retirement strategies, RBC. “The definition of retirement is changing to include some form of work. Many Canadians may not feel that they are ready to make the transition into full retirement and continuing to work helps them to stay engaged and connected.”

While more than half of Canadians (56 per cent) plan to continue working as long as possible, this figure drops to 43 per cent for those 55 and older, suggesting that perspectives change as Canadians approach retirement. The study also found that more than a third of Canadians (38 per cent) believe that they will work past the age of 65.

“People may expect to work past 65 due to their personal or financial obligations. Among those who plan to retire after age 65, nearly one-third expect to support someone in retirement, compared to one-fifth (22 per cent) for those who plan to retire at age 65 or younger,” added Davies. “Another factor may be that Canadians overwhelmingly agree that it is important to retire debt-free (91 per cent).”

Almost half of those who plan to retire after age 65 are concerned that they have not done enough to save for their retirement. The poll also found that only three in ten Canadians who have an RRSP plan to maximize their contribution for the 2007 tax year.

“Retirement is a transition. It doesn’t happen on a fixed date or at a specific age,” said Davies. “Planning for what you want to do and determining how you will pay for it can help make sure you enjoy retirement.”

Surprisingly, more than seven in ten Canadians (72 per cent) are confident that they can return to work if they require additional income in retirement. This finding suggests that Canadians do not see potential health issues, ageism and out-dated workplace skills as roadblocks which could limit their employment prospects after they retire, noted Davies.

The 18th Annual RBC RRSP Poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid from October 23 to November 5, 2007. The telephone survey was based on responses from a random sample of 1,200 Canadian adults (aged 18 and over). With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±2.8 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.
© Royal Bank of Canada 2001 - 2007


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