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Travel still high on retirement wish list, but becoming snowbirds is more of a myth than a reality: RBC poll

Not-yet-retired Canadians dream of wintering in the south, retirees prefer to stay home

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - While Canadians approaching retirement may think they want to spend their post-career years heading somewhere warm for the winter, the reality is that Canadians living in retirement find there's no place like home year-round, according to the RBC 2013 Retirement Myths & Realities Poll.

One-quarter (27 per cent) of not-yet-retired Canadians who are 50 and older responded that they expect to be snowbirds in retirement by "regularly going somewhere warm in the winter". In contrast, only 16 per cent of retired Canadians reported that they actually are snowbirds.

While the annual poll found that both men and women approaching retirement were equally interested in being snowbirds (28 per cent and 26 per cent respectively), there were marked differences between how the genders expect they will be spending their retirement years. Women were much more likely than men to say they will work as volunteers (63 per cent versus 52 per cent) or spend more time with their friends (50 per cent versus 39 per cent). Men, on the other hand, planned to spend more time with their spouse/partner (61 per cent versus 53 per cent). Despite these very different expectations, over one-third (36 per cent) of pre-retired couples have not talked to their spouses/partners about what they want to do when they retire.

"It's so important to discuss your expectations for retirement with the key people in your life, including a financial advisor who can help ensure you are prepared for this next phase," explained Bill Hill, National Retirement Planning Consultant at RBC. "We know from the work we do with our clients that the reality of retirement can be different from what people imagine it will be. If you are within five to 10 years of your ideal retirement date, it's time to focus on what's really important to you - your family, your health, your lifestyle, your legacy - and start preparing now for the retirement you have in mind."

FAST FACTS - RBC 2013 Retirement Myths & Realities Poll.

Canadians aged 50 and older
Top 10 ways to spend retirement M F Retirees Pre-Retirees
1.Taking time for myself 68% 73% 72% 68%
2. Travel 67% 70% 63% 73%
3. Spending more time with my
spouse/partner
61% 55% 59% 58%
4. Improving my health 38% 44% 45% 36%
5. Spending more time with my family
(other than spouse/partner)
39% 52% 43% 45%
6. Volunteer work 45% 55% 42% 56%
7. Spending more time with friends 35% 50% 39% 43%
8. Making a contribution/giving back
to community
31% 31% 29% 34%
9. Improving my knowledge about finances 18% 13% 22% 10%
10. As a snowbird 22% 21% 16% 27%

Yes, I have discussed retirement with spouse/partner
Retirement considerations discussed Retirees Pre-retirees
How you will spend your time in retirement 61% 64%
Where you will live when you retire 53% 63%
How either of you will manage if the other passes away prematurely 43% 44%
How either of you will manage if the other encounters health issues 35% 40%
None of the above 23% 19%

About RBC's financial planning advice, resources and interactive tools
Canadians can access RBC Financial Planning and rbc.com/savingsspot for free planning, budgeting and savings advice and resources, or to find the nearest Investment and Retirement Planner. In addition, Seniors Finance and Caregiving is a new online resource centre which includes comprehensive caregiving information for Canadians to help them plan for a successful retirement. For Canadians who 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. Interactive tools and calculators such as the Debt Reduction Plan and Debt Consolidation Calculator, provide customized information covering many facets of personal finance. All personal RBC online banking clients also can use myFinanceTracker, a no-cost interactive financial management tool, to create a set budget, track their spending habits and access tax-related apps in myTax Centre, to help manage and plan their taxes.

About the Fourth Annual 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.

SOURCE RBC

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