BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group

February 14, 2011 09:00 ET

REPEAT-BMO Valentine's Day Survey: Many Couples Haven't Had "The Talk"

- One-Third of Canadians Have Not Engaged in a Detailed Discussion With Their Partner About Their Retirement Plans

- The Majority Are Not Taking Advantage of Spousal RRSPs

- BMO Says Set a 'Date' With Your Partner to Discuss Your Financial Future to Ensure You Are Both Comfortable With Retirement Plans

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 14, 2011) - In honour of Valentine's Day, BMO Financial Group released its Retirement Savings Survey for couples which shows that a surprising one third of Canadians (31 per cent) who are married or common law have not engaged in a detailed discussion with their partner about their retirement plans, including the lifestyle they want to lead and the best way to save for it.

"It may not sound as romantic as a candle-lit dinner, but having a detailed discussion about your financial future can pay off in the long run," said Caroline Dabu, Vice President, Retirement & Financial Planning Strategy, BMO Financial Group. "Seeking the advice of a financial planner is an easy first step in ensuring you are effectively planning for your future, including exploring the different options available to you to maximize your retirement savings."

The study, conducted by Leger Marketing, also highlights how the majority (60 per cent) of married and common-law couples are not taking advantage of Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs). 

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

Valentine's Day is a perfect time to make a Spousal RRSP contribution. The survey also found:

  • Almost half (44 per cent) of Canadians who are married or common-law are unprepared for the possibility of being alone in their retirement and do not have a plan in place that will allow them to be financially stable in the event they will be alone.
  • Men are more likely than women to say they have a plan in place in the event they are alone in retirement (60 per cent versus 48 per cent respectively)
  • Those without children in the household are more likely than those with children in the household to have had a discussion about their retirement plans.

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing from January 31 – February 2, 2011, with 1510 Canadian adults.

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