BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

February 23, 2012 06:00 ET

Retirement Regrets? They've Had a Few: Boomers Reflect on Lessons Learned & Advise Young Canadians

- Forty per cent of boomers wished they had started saving for retirement earlier

- One-third regret not having invested more in real estate

- Boomers advise young Canadians to get moving on RRSPs, TFSAs, financial plans and becoming mortgage-free faster

- Female boomers feel more strongly than males about the need to have a financial plan and importance of being on the same page as their partner on retirement

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2012) - BMO Financial Group today announced the results of a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) study examining the reflections and regrets of Canadian boomers (aged 45 or older) on retirement planning.

Boomers were asked about any regrets they have about their own retirement planning. When asked to look back at what they would have done differently to position themselves better for their ideal retirement lifestyle, they identified the following:

  • Started saving for retirement at an earlier age (42 per cent)
  • Made regular contributions to and maximized my RRSP (25 per cent)
  • Put more thought into what I wanted my retirement to look like and budgeted for it (24 per cent)

"Canada's boomers believe that getting an earlier start on retirement planning would have helped set themselves up better for a successful retirement," said Tina Di Vito, Head, BMO Retirement Institute and author of 52 Ways to Wreck Your Retirement… and How to Rescue It. "Saving from an early age can help establish good habits that will become part of your financial routine, ultimately leading to a stronger financial position when you enter retirement. Starting to put money away in an RRSP or TFSA is just the first step in building a solid financial plan: not only for retirement, but for all your key life-events."

With respect to retirement savings, Canadian boomers expressed opinions on what they wish they would have invested in more:

  • Real estate (35 per cent)
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificates (31 per cent)
  • Cash (20 per cent)

"Buying a home can be one of the most important financial decisions one can make and the investment can result in a significant retirement nest egg later in life," said Laura Parsons, Mortgage Expert, BMO Bank of Montreal. "However, it's essential that Canadians avoid carrying mortgage debt into their retirement years. One way to do this is by choosing a shorter amortization - preferably a maximum of 25 years - which can save thousands of dollars in interest costs that can be contributed directly towards retirement savings."

Boomers' Advice to Young Canadians

Boomers were also asked what their retirement planning advice would be to someone in their early 20s. They advised the following:

  • Open a RRSP as soon as possible and contribute to it on a regular basis (59 per cent)
  • Open a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and maximize the amount you invest in it annually (53 per cent)
  • Take the time to create a financial plan that includes a retirement component (50 per cent)
  • Make it a priority to pay-off your mortgage faster (45 per cent)

Regional & Gender Breakdown- Advice from Boomers to Young Canadians:

Open an RRSP as soon as possible and contribute regularly 59% 67% 52% 59% 65% 60% 60% 59% 59%
Open a TFSA and maximize the amount you invest annually 53% 52% 39% 55% 72% 59% 57% 50% 56%
Create a financial plan that includes a retirement component 50% 57% 41% 53% 67% 38% 57% 45% 55%
Pay-off mortgage faster 45% 34% 34% 48% 53% 52% 58% 44% 47%
Invest in real estate as soon as possible 43% 32% 36% 45% 50% 40% 59% 43% 44%
Talk to your partner to ensure you are both on the same page 33% 35% 17% 38% 39% 33% 46% 29% 37%

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing from January 30 - February 2, 2012, with a sample of 930 Canadian adults age 45 and older.

For more information on retirement:

Get the latest BMO press releases via Twitter by following @BMOmedia.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $477 billion as at October 31, 2011, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Contact Information