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Special Reports


Retired Canadians cite health issues as a major reason for their retirement, according to RBC Poll

Retirees would rather have good health than no financial worries

TORONTO, January 6, 2009 — According to the 19th Annual RBC RRSP Poll, approximately one-in-four retired Canadians cited health issues as the main reason for their retirement. Only nine per cent of pre-retired Canadians however believe that health issues will trigger them to retire. Besides health issues, qualifying for a pension (24 per cent) and company downsizing (13 per cent) were the leading factors that prompted Canadians to retire.

"We are seeing that pre-retirees have not planned for the possibility that health issues may force them to retire," said Lee Anne Davies, head, advanced retirement strategies, RBC. "Prior to retirement, it's important to take the time to think about how changes in your health, or the health of someone depending on you, could affect when and how you live in retirement."

The study found that health is top of mind for retired Canadians. In fact, when retirees were asked to state the best gift they could receive in retirement, good health (53 per cent) ranked higher than no financial worries (30 per cent). The reverse is true for Canadians who have not yet retired, with 38 per cent ranking no financial worries over health (34 per cent) as the best gift they could give themselves in retirement.

"One of the fundamental steps to ensuring a successful retirement is to develop a plan," said Davies. "As Canadians plan for retirement, there may be a number of questions that arise regarding physical, mental and financial health. It's important for Canadians to consider what they can do to integrate the maintenance of good health into their retirement planning."

According to the poll, half (51 per cent) of Canadians who are retired have changed their lifestyle to ensure a healthy retirement. Eighty percent of those who did change their lifestyle say they have a better diet, 69 per cent are exercising more and 64 per cent are attending regular medical appointments. Forty-one per cent of pre-retired Canadians plan on becoming healthier in retirement with 80 per cent of those planning on having a better diet, 79 per cent exercising more and 32 per cent attending regular medical appointments.

About the 19th Annual RBC RRSP Poll
The 19th Annual RBC RRSP Poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid from October 16 to 23, 2008. This online survey of 1,272 Canadians was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results of this poll are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls, however, an unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of ± 2.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had the entire adult population of Canada been polled.

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 www.rbc.com/yourfuture or call 1-866-335-4055.

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Media contacts:
Sarah Pendrith, RBC Wealth Management, 416-974-8820
Jackie Braden, Media Relations, 416-974-2124


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01/06/2009 07:58:38