BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

February 12, 2013 09:00 ET

REPEAT: BMO Annual Valentine's Day RRSP Study: Fewer Than a Third of Couples Discuss Retirement Plans Before Saying "I Do"

- Only 28 per cent of Canadian couples say they shared their plans for retirement with each other before getting married/living common law

- Eighty-six per cent of married/common law couples have had a discussion about their retirement

- More than 20 per cent of couples feel that differing views on retirement could be grounds for break-up/divorce

- $1 million is the average amount couples feel they need to fund their retirement

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 12, 2013) - According to BMO Financial Group's Third Annual Valentine's Day RRSP Study most Canadian couples do not share their views on retirement with each other before saying "I do". Less than a third of Canadians (28 per cent) say they had a detailed conversation with their partner about how they envision their retirement before getting married or living common law.

"While discussing plans for retirement may not be one of the most romantic things to do during the courtship phase of a relationship, it's important that couples share their thoughts with each other before getting too serious," said Chris Buttigieg, Senior Manager, Wealth Planning Strategy, BMO Financial Group. "You could be spending 30 years with your partner in retirement, so it's important that you determine early on if you're on the same page."

Mr. Buttigieg noted that this is especially important, given that the BMO study showed more than 20 per cent of couples feel that having very different views on retirement could be grounds for breaking up or divorce.

Generally, the study found that 86 per cent of those who are married or in a serious relationship have had conversations about retirement. However, fewer than half of those couples have spoken about the following:

  • How much they have saved for retirement
  • What their ideal retirement lifestyle looks like
  • Where to live during retirement
  • Whether to sell the family home/downsize

The million dollar retirement plan?

The study also found that, on average, Canadian couples believe that they will need approximately $1 million to fund their retirement.

"Canadians need to remember that the amount they'll need to save for retirement will depend on their desired lifestyle," said Mr. Buttigieg. "Your ideal retirement may be quite different from someone else's. It's especially important for couples to discuss what their expectations are and then develop a financial plan that includes a retirement savings component."

BMO offers the following tips to help Canadians make the most of RRSP season:

Seek expert advice: Consult a financial professional to develop a financial plan based on your unique desired lifestyle goals and objectives. A financial professional can help you make the right decisions about managing your money now to achieve your financial goals in the future.

Consider investments that match age, stage and risk tolerance: BMO SelectClass® Portfolios* come in four portfolios options designed to align with different risk profiles. Whether you are conservative, bold or somewhere in between, there is a portfolio tailored to you. This type of portfolio design can give investors confidence that they are on track to achieving their long-term goals, such as being financially prepared for retirement.

Invest in Spousal RRSPs: Spousal RRSPs are an optimal investment tool for married or common-law partners - they can help defer taxes now, as well as reduce them at retirement. If you and your partner are in different income brackets, retirement taxes may be reduced because the couple is withdrawing the same amount of money from two smaller incomes rather than from one large one. Furthermore, the partner making the RRSP contribution benefits from the current tax deduction.

Regional Breakdowns:

Percentage that had a detailed conversation about retirement before marriage/living common-law
28 21 32 29 14 35 25
Percentage of married/common law couples who have discussed retirement plans
86 75 90 89 79 88 80

For more information on retirement:

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The online survey was conducted by Pollara from February 1st to February 5th, 2013 with a sample of 800 yet-to-retire Canadian adults who are married or in a common-law relationship. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

*BMO SelectClass Portfolios are offered by BMO Investments Inc., a financial services firm and separate legal entity from Bank of Montreal. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus of the mutual fund before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

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