Most Canadians believe golden years not so bright, poll finds

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Most Canadians believe they will have enough money to get by in retirement, but only one-in-four figure they'll be living the dream in their so-called golden years, according to an RBC poll.
Results of the 20th Annual RBC RRSP Poll issued today found that 90 per cent of those surveyed believed they would have enough income to cover necessities when they retire.
But only a quarter of respondents among the 1,457 adults interviewed online by Ipsos Reid between Oct. 21 and Nov. 2 felt they would have enough to "fulfil their retirement dreams," the poll found.
The poll also found that most retired Canadians, about 75 per cent, didn't know how much they spent in their first year of retirement, virtually unchanged from the 76 per cent who gave the same response in 2008.
However, among those who did keep track, spending was down considerably: an average of $35,000 in 2009 compared with $51,000 in 2008.
Even at that, 52 per cent of respondents in the 2009 survey said they spent more than expected, up from 46 per cent in 2008.
"How much money you'll need in retirement depends on how you'll be spending your time, with many Canadians underestimating the amount they will need," said Lee Anne Davies, head, retirement strategies, RBC Royal Bank.
"Financial planning is more than just number crunching and your retirement is not a single phase of your life, but a series of stages," Davies said.
"A personalized financial plan can look at options to make your nest egg last and help ensure your retirement needs and dreams are met," Davies added.
When thinking about retirement, the study found that Canadians who have not retired were most worried about having enough savings, about 48 per cent, while only 29 per cent of actual retirees had this concern.
About 40 per cent of both pre-retirees and retirees were concerned about maintaining their standard of living, but retirees were more likely to be worried about health-care, about 33 per cent compared with only 28 per cent among pre-retirees.
Experts say a poll of the size of the RBC survey should be accurate within plus or minus 2.56 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Organizations: RBC Royal Bank, Ipsos Reid

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