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BMO Bank of Montreal

February 13, 2012 07:00 ET

REPEAT-BMO Annual Valentine's Day Study: For Couples, Love Is In The Air...But Not Talk Of Retirement

Canadian couples not discussing key retirement planning details

- More than half of Canadian couples have not discussed their desired retirement lifestyle, when or where to retire or the amount of money they'll need

- Almost one-third do not have detailed insight into how much their partner has saved for retirement

- For Canadian couples retirement planning is more stressful than Valentine's Day

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 13, 2012) - With Valentine's Day just days away, BMO Financial Group released its Second Annual Valentine's Day Retirement Study which focuses on communication between couples on retirement planning.

According to the study, conducted by Leger Marketing, 69 per cent of Canadian couples state they have had a discussion with their partner about retirement plans. However, when examined more closely, fewer than half have discussed the essentials, including:

  • What their ideal retirement lifestyle will look like (47 per cent)
  • At what age they want to retire (46 per cent)
  • Where they want to live (44 per cent)
  • How much money they will need to support their ideal retirement lifestyle (42 per cent)
  • Whether they will be selling their house or staying in the family home (36 per cent)

Almost one-third (30 per cent) of Canadian couples do not have detailed insight into how much their partner has saved for retirement, including how much they have in their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

"We hear that communication is essential in a relationship-but that should include talking about finances and plans for retirement too," said Tina Di Vito, Head, BMO Retirement Institute. "The sooner couples have a detailed retirement 'talk', the easier it will be for them to develop and implement a financial plan that will help them realize their ideal retirement lifestyle."

The survey also found that fewer than one-third (27 per cent) of Canadian couples take advantage of spousal RRSPs, with one-quarter (26 per cent) not even knowing what they are. According to Ms. Di Vito, spousal RRSPs offer a tax-effective way to split your taxable income with your spouse at retirement.

With Valentine's Day and RRSP season on their minds, survey respondents were also asked what causes them more stress - Valentine's Day or planning for retirement:

  • Overall, respondents consider retirement (56 per cent) to be more stressful than Valentine's Day (20 per cent)
  • Interestingly, far more men indicated that issues relating to Valentine's Day cause them more stress (30 per cent) versus women (10 per cent), while far more women selected retirement-related issues (61 per cent) compared to men (51 per cent).

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing from January 30 - February 2, 2012, with a sample of 926 Canadian adults who are not currently single. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

For more information on retirement: www.bmo.com/retirement.

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