BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

February 18, 2016 08:00 ET

BMO Wealth Management Report: Canadians Have Concerns About Retirement Finances, But Are Excited About the Life Stage

- Fifty-nine per cent of Canadians miss or will miss employment income from their working life in retirement

- Sixty-seven per cent think that running out of money is the biggest challenge in retirement

- Fifty-five per cent have a positive outlook when thinking about their retirement years

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 18, 2016) - BMO Wealth Management today released a report, "Retirement - What's Your Game Plan?", which examines the concerns, attitudes and opinions that Canadians have about this life stage.

The report found that fifty-nine per cent miss or will miss their employment income from their working life. Additionally, Canadians believe that the most significant challenges in retirement include:

  • Ensuring they do not run out of money to live comfortably (67 per cent)
  • Dealing with serious health problems (66 per cent)
  • Having difficulty finding a sense of purpose (42 per cent)

Despite their concerns, the report noted that the majority of Canadians have positive feelings about the life stage. Fifty-five per cent say they are excited and optimistic, and 52 per cent say they feel prepared for whatever might happen.

"Retirement can be an exciting chapter in your life; but the preparations that need to be made to ensure you're set up for success can often come with a certain degree of anxiety," said Chris Buttigieg, Senior Manager, Wealth Planning Strategy, BMO Wealth Management. "The most common concerns Canadians have tend to be around finances. It's never too late to sit down with a financial professional who can help you develop a comprehensive financial plan with a retirement savings component."

What makes a satisfied retiree?

The report also found that 64 per cent of Canadians have given at least some thought to the non-financial aspects of retirement. According to the report, the attitudes and mindsets they think are most likely to be found in a satisfied retiree include being:

  • Busy and active (85 per cent)
  • Independent (63 per cent)
  • Forward thinking (40 per cent)

"It's important not to neglect non-financial concerns as you make plans for retirement. Think about what will make you happy and fulfilled during this stage of your life, including where you want to live and how you plan to spend your time. These considerations can be incorporated into your financial plan to ensure you're able to achieve your ideal retirement lifestyle," said Mr. Buttigieg.

BMO offers the following tips to help Canadians prepare for retirement:

Pre-Retirement Investment Strategies: A financial professional can help you determine the right investment strategy and the appropriate investments for you. There are many actively managed and diversified portfolios available. Determining how to allocate your investments between these various types of accounts can help reduce your taxes and maximize the amount of income available for your retirement.

Critical Illness Insurance: If you become critically injured or ill, dipping into your retirement savings could put your retirement plans on hold. Disability insurance can cover your basic household expenses, but consider purchasing a critical illness insurance policy to cover the expenses you would incur during the recovery period of an injury or illness.

Registered Retirement Income Funds and Life Income Annuities: It is necessary to understand your cash flow requirements in retirement and ensure that there are sufficient resources to cover both day-to-day expenses and funding for larger goals. Registered retirement income funds offer flexibility, and life income annuities offer a fixed income for life.

Universal Life Policy: For Canadians with more sizable assets, retirement raises concerns about estate preservation and management. One strategy is to transfer some of those assets into a universal life policy. These assets, along with any investment income earned and death benefits, are passed on to your beneficiaries tax free.

To view a copy of the full report, please visit:

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About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $642 billion as of October 31, 2015, and close to 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

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