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Canadians urged to balance health and wealth to live well in retirement: RBC

TORONTO, October 26, 2010 —  As Canadians age, transition and live in retirement, taking control of their health and wealth is critical to ensuring success in the later stages of life. Released today, an RBC Your Future by Design Retirement Research Centre report, in collaboration with the University of Waterloo, advises Canadians to learn how to manage their physical and financial capital in retirement.

"There are three major aspects of your physical health that deteriorate with age - your strength, endurance and flexibility," said Dr. James Rush, professor and chair, Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo. "Declines in these areas lead to loss of quality of life and disability that start to increase with aging. You can significantly slow down the decline in each of these factors by taking control of your lifestyle."

The RBC report entitled "Retire well - take control of your health and wealth" indicates that sixty per cent of older adults are inactive. Furthermore, the report notes that many Canadians are allowing their physical capabilities to decline at a higher rate than what is attributable to the result of aging.

"Some age-associated changes are within one's control, and can be slowed by staying active and making small lifestyle changes," added Dr. Rush. "An increase in physical activity at any age is known to reduce age dependent declines in fitness and can help prevent diseases that are normally associated with aging."

Financially, the many demands of life can make it difficult to take full advantage of the power of saving and investing money over the long-term. While Canadians may be tempted to ignore the details and deal with retirement financial challenges as they arise, a successful retirement can be attained by taking a few simple steps to determine in advance if their financial capital is adequate.

"The key to a successful retirement isn't about setting a plan in motion; it's about building a plan that is dynamic and holistic so as your life changes and your health changes, your financial plan evolves and preserves your money in a way that fits your lifestyle," said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC. "Much like physical health, action must be taken to maintain strength, endurance, and flexibility in one's financial health. It is the combination of control over one's health and finances that leads to a balanced retirement."

To stay on track once actions have been taken to gain control of both the physical and financial capabilities, RBC suggests Canadians should follow these steps:

  • Write down your plan. Writing down your physical and financial goals helps you clarify them and gives you something to work towards.
  • Assess your progress. On a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis, step back and see whether you have achieved the goals that you set for yourself.
  • Make modifications, as needed. A plan is flexible and can evolve as your needs change.

RBC encourages Canadians to see how they measure up by using the self-assessment tool and viewing a brief video at This research report is the first in the Your Future by Design Retirement Research series.

About the University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, is one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities. Waterloo is home to 30,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are dedicated to making the future better and brighter. Waterloo, known for the largest post- secondary co-operative education program in the world, supports enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. For more information about Waterloo, visit

The RBC Your Future by Design Retirement Research Centre at the University of Waterloo focuses on research related to areas that influence quality of life in retirement including health, leisure, wellness, lifestyle, finances, economics, science, arts and technology. The Centre complements the distinctive RBC approach that helps 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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Media contacts:
Suzanne Willers, RBC Corporate Communications,

Michelle Douglas-Mills, University of Waterloo
519-888-4567, ext. 38345