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BMO Financial Group

June 18, 2011 09:00 ET

REPEAT: BMO Father's Day Study Examines the Evolving World of the Stay-at-Home-Dad

- Two-thirds still believe it's more socially acceptable for a woman, rather than a man, to be the homemaker

- Despite this, the number of stay-at-home dads has tripled in the last 30 years

- Majority of Canadians cite increased gender equality as why more fathers are choosing to stay at home

- BMO provides financial advice for families thinking of making the switch from two incomes to one

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 18, 2011) - With Father's Day approaching, BMO Financial Group announced the results of a survey which reveals that two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) still believe that it is more socially acceptable for a woman, rather than a man, to stay home and take care of the family.

However, despite this view, the number of stay-at-home dads in Canada has tripled in the past 30 years, according to Statistics Canada.

Why are more dads choosing to stay at home?

The BMO survey, conducted by Leger Marketing, also identified reasons why Canadians believe increased numbers of men are taking on the role of homemaker:

  • 59 per cent believe there is more equality with gender roles around work and home.
  • A majority (54 per cent) say it is because an increasing number of women are becoming the top "breadwinner" of the family.
  • One-third (31 per cent) state that the recent recession put a lot of men out of work—allowing them to play the role of "Mr. Mom."

Regardless of which spouse manages the home, the decision to have only one parent in the workforce requires families to consider a number of non-financial and financial issues.

"It's essential for families who are thinking of having one parent stay at home to plan well in advance and carefully consider the benefits and tradeoffs they need to make from a financial perspective," said Caroline Dabu, Vice-President, Retirement and Financial Planning, BMO Financial Group. "It's been estimated that at least 15 per cent of household income is spent on children, so it is very important to think about how that will affect your financial situation. "

How Are One-Income Households Impacted Financially?

The study also addressed how Canadians would be affected if one of the spouses decided not to work and, instead, stay home and look after the family:

  • A majority (52 per cent) say their families would have to spend less on items like cars, travel and luxury items.
  • Half (49 per cent) say that their cash flow would be significantly impacted.
  • One-third (31 per cent) state they would have to lower their expectations for their ideal retirement lifestyle.

BMO Financial Group's Caroline Dabu provides the following advice to families who are considering making the switch from two incomes to one:

  • Plan, plan, plan – Start the conversation at least two years in advance so that you can adequately plan, prepare and take time to evaluate your decision.
  • How to choose – When trying to decide which partner should stay home, take into account each other's salaries, benefit packages and any prospective career advancements on the horizon.
  • Weigh the costs – Research local daycare or nanny costs and compare them against your salary.
  • Track everything – As part of your evaluation process, track your expenses, create detailed budgets and revisit your financial plan to ensure it is aligned with your new goals.

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing from June 6 – June 9, 2011, with 1504 Canadian adults.

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