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He says "Save for the Future", she says "Live for Today": RBC poll

Investing and savings habits differ between men and women

TORONTO, February 14, 2011— There are significant differences in how Canadian men and women save and invest their money, particularly what they invest in and how much money they invest, according to the most recent RBC RRSP Poll.

Within the past year, men were more likely than women to put money toward retirement savings (44 per cent compared to 33 per cent) and building an investment portfolio (23 per cent compared to 16 per cent), while women were more likely than men to worry about balancing saving for immediate priorities against putting money away for the longer term or their retirement (79 per cent compared to 73 per cent). Across Canada, almost one-third (31 per cent) of women have not started saving for their retirement, compared to one-fifth of men (21 per cent).

"What we're seeing in our research is that women are placing more emphasis on taking care of daily needs - often the needs of others - rather than focusing on their long-term needs," said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC. "This makes it all the more important for women to get advice about the options available to help them build their savings and enable them to have the lifestyle they want when they retire. This involves so much more than just a dollar figure and a financial planner can help them explore their goals and set a realistic plan of action."

A striking difference between what men and women plan to, or already, invest in within their RRSPs was also identified by the RBC poll. While stocks are listed as the third most favoured type of investment by men (23 per cent), they sit well down the list in sixth place for women (14 per cent). Savings accounts rank third for women (23 per cent), while men list these accounts in fourth (19 per cent). Mutual funds are the top choice for both genders; yet, while 46 per cent of men hold mutual funds, only 38 per cent of women hold these funds. As well, 22 per cent of women responded that they didn't know what investments they hold in their RRSPs, or that their advisor handles these investments for them, compared to 15 per cent of men.

"Women tend to be more conservative in their approach to saving for the future, with a stronger focus on investments that provide steadier returns. This is why we see the amount of money women say they need for retirement remaining steady," adds Davies. "The amount of money men say they need in retirement, on the other hand, changes as their investment returns change."

The RBC poll found that the amount women feel they need to finance their retirement years eased slightly from $566,000 three years ago to $510,000 in 2010, while the same goal for men changed more dramatically over the past three years, dropping from $922,000 in 2007 to $493,000 last year.

"He Says, She Says" Regional Highlights from RBC's RRSP Poll:

Quebec:

  • Of the 62 per cent of Quebecers who have RRSPs:
    • mutual funds are held in those RRSPs by 38 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women
    • savings accounts are held by 24 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women
    • 20 per cent of men and 11 per cent of women hold stocks
    • 16 per cent of men and 22 per cent of women don't know what investments are held in their RRSPs, or rely on their advisor to handle these investments.
  • Men (78 per cent) and women (79 per cent) voiced virtually the same worries about balancing saving for their immediate priorities versus putting money away for the longer term or their retirement.
  • Twenty-eight per cent of women have not yet started saving for their retirement, compared to 22 per cent of men.

Ontario:

  • Of the 62 per cent of Ontarians who have RRSPs:
    • mutual funds are held in those RRSPs by 52 per cent of men and 43 per cent of women
    • savings accounts are held by 20 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women
    • 24 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women hold stocks
    • 11 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women don't know what investments are held in their RRSPs, or rely on their advisor to handle these investments.
  • Eight-in-ten women (83 per cent) compared to seven-in-ten men (73 per cent) worry about balancing saving for their immediate priorities versus putting money away for the longer term or their retirement.
  • Twenty-eight per cent of women have not yet started saving for their retirement, compared to 20 per cent of men.

Western Canada:

  • Of the 59 per cent of Western Canadians who have RRSPs:
    • mutual funds are held in those RRSPs by 46 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women
    • savings accounts are held by 12 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women
    • 22 per cent of men and 12 per cent of women hold stocks
    • 19 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women don't know what investments are held in their RRSPs, or rely on their advisor to handle these investments.
  • Just over three-quarters of women (76 per cent) compared to just over two-thirds of men (68 per cent) worry about balancing saving for their immediate priorities versus putting money away for the longer term or their retirement.
  • Thirty-five per cent of women have not yet started saving for their retirement, compared to 22 per cent of men.

Whether Canadians want RRSP and retirement savings advice or to borrow with confidence, the RBC Advice Centre (www.rbcadvicecentre.com) is updated regularly to reflect current trends and answer the questions that are top of mind. Interactive tools, calculators and videos provide customized information covering many facets of personal finance.

Poll background
These are some of the findings from the RBC 21st Annual RRSP Poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between October 29 and November 4, 2010. For this survey, a national sample of 1,457 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel were interviewed. The results are based on samples where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. A weighted probability sample of 1,457 Canadian respondents, with 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of ±3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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:
Kathy Bevan, RBC, 416 974-2727
Seema Sharma, RBC, 416 974-5606