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More than half of boomers lack a written financial plan: survey

Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Author: Investment Executive Staff

More than half of Canadian boomers don’t have a written financial plan, with 21% indicating that their plans are “in their head”, while 34% admitted that they don’t have a plan at all.

That’s according to a survey of Canadians between the ages of 45 and 60, conducted for BMO Financial Group by Ipsos Reid.

In fact, when it comes to retirement planning, 22% said they are “hoping for the best”.

The survey uncovered that Canadian boomers prefer to spend their time planning other activities, rather than planning for their retirement -- 49% of boomers spend more time planning their exercise, 47% planning their diet, 46% planning renovations, 43% planning travel and 33% spend more time planning their car maintenance than planning their retirement.

Yet, in previous BMO-Ipsos Reid research, 91% of Canadian boomers agreed that having enough money for retirement requires a lot of planning and advice.

“While boomers acknowledge that planning is important, it appears that most are reluctant to plan for something that is perceived to be so far down the road, especially when they have many other priorities to deal with,” said Judy Thomson, director, sales, BMO Mutual Funds, in a news release.

According to the survey, Canadian boomers intend to spend fewer years in retirement -- 33% said they expect to spend less than 10 years in retirement and 19% said 10-15 years. Only 18% said they think they’ll spend 20 years or more in retirement.

“It’s fair to conclude that having a shorter retirement likely means boomers will need less money to fund that time of their lives. However, if they want to take control over their retirement destiny, boomers need to act now and develop a retirement plan,” said Thomson.

Additional findings of the survey include:

  • 30% of Canadian boomers don’t have an RSP;
  • Of the 70% of boomers who do have RSPs, 48% consider it as their financial plan;
    • 40% of Canadian boomers who have RSPs only monitor them once a year around the annual contribution deadline;
    • 39% monitor them monthly; and
    • 66% of boomers are currently saving for retirement.