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No Option: RBC Poll finds retirement is not a choice for many Canadians

Careers ending earlier than expected, retirees seeking other income

TORONTO, April 20, 2011— There are surprises in store for Canadians who are expecting to retire on a date of their own choosing, according to the 2nd Annual RBC Retirement Myths & Realities poll.

While the vast majority (83 per cent) of “pre-retirees” aged 50 plus believe they will retire on the date of their choice, almost half (41 per cent) of those who have already retired report that their retirement date was unplanned. The top three factors cited for early retirement: employer’s request (18 per cent), health reasons (14 per cent) or reaching mandatory retirement age (6 per cent).

“We’re finding that even Canadians who think they are well-prepared for their retirement years have not taken the unexpected into consideration,” explained Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC. “When their job disappears suddenly, they struggle with financing the added years in retirement that they hadn’t counted on. This is where financial advice can ensure all aspects of retirement are explored, including the unexpected.”

The RBC poll also found in the past 12 months, there has been a significant rise in the number of retirees returning to the workforce because they need the income (41 per cent in 2011 compared to 32 per cent in 2010), as well as a drop in the number of Canadians retiring debt-free (56 per cent in 2011; 61 per cent in 2010).

Fully retired Canadians, when asked what they would do if at some point their retirement income is not sufficient to support their lifestyle, responded that they would either stay in their present homes but live frugally (89 per cent); move out of their present homes to downsize or rent (87 per cent); or stay in their present homes and sell off assets (65 per cent).

“There are a number of ways to plan out how your retirement years can look,” added Davies. “Seeking out good advice before retirement from financial planners can help you determine what you can do now to support your future lifestyle in retirement.”

The annual RBC Retirement Myths & Realities Poll compares the perspectives of both retired and not-yet-retired Canadians, aged 50 and over. Related data charts can be accessed via

About RBC's retirement planning and other financial advice and interactive tools
Your Future by Design® is RBC's distinctive approach to help Canadians identify, plan, and realize their goals for retirement. With the guidance of RBC financial planners and investment planners and retirement planners, Your Future by Design helps Canadians 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 our toll-free number at 1-866-335-4055. RBC's myFinanceTracker, a new online financial management tool, offers all personal RBC online banking clients the ability, at no cost, to create a set budget and track their spending habits. Whether Canadians want to get more from their day to day banking, protect what's important, save and invest, borrow with confidence or take care of their businesses, the RBC Advice Centre can help answer their questions. Free interactive tools and calculators provide customized information covering many facets of personal finance. In addition, online advice videos are updated regularly to reflect current trends and to answer the questions that are top of mind with Canadians. With the guidance of RBC advisors who are available to chat live, Canadians have access to free, no obligation professional advice about RBC products and services and personalized one-on-one banking service. For more assistance, please visit RBC Advice Centre.

About the RBC Myths & Realities Poll
The 2nd Annual RBC Retirement Myths & Realities Poll, which examines Canadians' expectations and experiences in retirement, was conducted by Ipsos Reid from February 25 - March 7, 2011. For this survey, a national sample of 2,245 adults aged 50 and over with household assets of at least $100,000 from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±2 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error and measurement error.

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For more information, please contact:

Kathy Bevan, RBC Corporate Communications,
(416) 974-2727
Elyse Lalonde, RBC Media Relations, (416) 974-8810


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