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Live Long And Prosper? RBC Poll Finds Canadians Aged 50 Plus Expect to Live Longer on Less

Planning for longevity and inflation is key

TORONTO, May 17, 2011— An overwhelming majority (90 per cent) of Canadians aged 50 plus who have not yet retired expect to have a successful retirement, yet more than a third (36 per cent) are worried that they do not have enough money to live well and do what they want, according to the 2nd Annual RBC Retirement Myths & Realities Poll.

In addition, Canadians aged 50 plus who are not yet retired are expecting to live into their mid- to late 80's, with 46 per cent basing this longevity projection on family history and 17 per cent on their current health. They also anticipate that, by their mid- to late 70's, their present lifestyles will change due to health or disability constraints - leaving approximately a ten-year gap when they may become more dependent on others.

"As life expectancy rates continue to rise, it becomes very important to plan for longevity, which includes taking into account the impact of changing health circumstances," said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC. "We know that success in retirement will look different for each individual, no matter what their age. When circumstances change, you need to manage your finances well - leading up to and throughout your retirement."

To financially support their retirement years, pre-retirees list their top income sources as follows:

  • RRSPs/RRIFs (90 per cent)
  • Government and employer pension plans (84 per cent and 58 per cent respectively)
  • Old Age Security (66 per cent)
  • Equity in their homes (56 per cent).

Furthermore, keeping pace with inflation is top of mind with pre-retirees, but poll findings indicate that they may not have the best inflation strategy in place. Only one-third (35 per cent) responded that they have invested with inflation in mind; of that percentage, males are more likely to do so (37 per cent). More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of pre-retirees stated they would adjust their lifestyle as necessary to cope with inflation; of that percentage, females stated they would be even more willing to make lifestyle adjustments (77 per cent).

"Everyone hopes to have enough flexibility and funds to live the way they want to in retirement and not to have to depend on anyone else for financial or other assistance," explained Davies. "The reality is that there are a number of factors in our retirement that we can't control, such as inflation and, to some extent, longevity. Working through the possibilities with a financial planner - to better understand what impact inflation or a disabling health issue could have - can help ensure your life in retirement is what you want it to be."

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. In addition, 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 and online advice videos are updated regularly to answer 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

About the RBC Myths & Realities Poll
The 2nd Annual RBC Retirement Myths & Realities Poll, which annually 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. 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 ±2.1 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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