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A place to call home - Canada's retiring boomers hope to stay put, despite potential health issues: RBC Poll

TORONTO, October 24, 2013 — Staying in their own homes and paying for home care as needed is by far the most appealing option (83 per cent) for Canadian Boomers as they head into retirement and consider future living arrangements that go along with aging. This is followed by living in a retirement residence with care provided (50 per cent), with both these options ranking well ahead of the possibility of living with family members who could assist with home care (24 per cent), according to the RBC 2013 Retirement Myths & Realities Poll (opens PDF in new window).

"Remaining in familiar surroundings - in a home of their own, in their current neighbourhood and close to family and friends - is definitely how Canadian Boomers wish to live when future health changes occur," noted Amalia Costa, Head, Retirement Strategies & Successful Aging, RBC. "Taking future health care needs and related finances into account when planning for retirement will help ensure Canadians can enjoy the retirement lifestyle they have in mind."

The annual poll also highlighted that, for those who are already retired, a decision to move out of their home was most often triggered (opens PDF in new window) by a change in their health (66 per cent), rather than for downsizing reasons, such as a need for less space (57 per cent) or to free up financial equity in the home (36 per cent).

"Making the decision to leave the family home is never an easy one and there is even more to consider when the move is prompted by changes in health," noted Audrey Miller, Managing Director of Elder Caring Inc. "The good news is there are so many options now available, from condos and seniors' apartments - for those who may be finding the maintenance of their home to be a challenge - to supportive retirement residences and long-term care facilities that offer various levels of support and medical care. You just need to take time to do your research and the RBC Advice Centre is a good place to start."

Advice related to key financial and lifestyle considerations for important residential decisions forms part of a new RBC Advice Centre (opens new window) online resource, "Seniors Finance and Caregiving". These materials are designed to help Canadians who are working through their own health care related options, as well as those who may be assisting aging parents or other family members or friends.

"Many older retirees want to live as independently as possible despite health changes, but the reality is you may not have that choice," added Costa. "You should explore your future home options now, before the urgency of a health care event limits your choices. If you are younger and heading into retirement, you should also ensure that the role of your home - often one of your most significant personal wealth assets - is taken into account as part of a comprehensive retirement income plan."

About RBC Seniors Finance and Caregiving
Seniors Finance and Caregiving (opens new window) is a new online resource centre which includes comprehensive information for Canadians seeking support to help them care for aging relatives and friends or plan for their own future care needs. Caregiving resources include advice from caregiving experts as well as active caregivers and financial advice from RBC advisors related to caregiving needs. Home-related resources include the safety tips video "There's no place like home (opens new window) " and the article "When staying at home is no longer an option - make sure you plan the right move (opens new window)". All resources are freely available at www.rbcadvicecentre.com/seniorscare (opens new window).

About the RBC 2013 Retirement Myths & Realities Poll
This annual poll examines Canadians' expectations and experiences in retirement. It was conducted via online interviews by Ipsos Reid from February 27 to March 12, 2013, using a national sample of 2,159 adults aged 50 and over with household assets of at least $100,000 from Ipsos' Canadian online panel. 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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Media contact:
Kathy Bevan, RBC, 416-974-8820

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