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First TD Waterhouse Canadians and Retirement survey reveals state of retirement in Canada - More than half (54%) of retirees say it's important to start saving early and make it a priority - 59% urge pre-retirees to take the time now to understand what they want from retirement - Majority (53%) advise pre-retirees to pay off debt before they retire - Close to two-thirds recommend pre-retirees take care of physical and emotional health TORONTO, May 12 /CNW/ - Start saving early, make saving a priority and pay off debts before you stop working, or you may not live your retirement dreams. This is the top advice from Canadian retirees in TD Waterhouse's first Canadians and Retirement survey, a national survey of retired people. The Canadians and Retirement survey polled retired Canadians from across the country to provide insight for the next generation of retirees. Of retired Canadians, 43% feel confident that they planned well and saved enough, but only 15% say they are completely living out their retirement dreams. "This sends a clear message to pre-retirees: think about what you really want from retirement and start planning for the transition now," says Patricia Lovett-Reid, senior vice-president, TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. "Life may throw you curve balls along the way, whether it's the state of the markets or a major life event, but if you have a plan in place, you're in a much better position to react and make any necessary adjustments." For many poll respondents, retirement wasn't exactly what they had imagined. They found adjusting to retired life challenging. The most difficult adjustment was no longer being defined by their work (25%), followed by not being able to do all the things they used to because of financial constraints (22%). There are many lessons pre-retirees can learn from recent retirees about how to make the transition to retirement smoother. More than half (54%) of retired Canadians recommend pre-retirees develop a full life outside of work now instead of waiting until they retire. Nearly two-thirds (64%) urge pre-retirees to take care of their health - both physical and emotional - and more than half (54%) advise pre-retirees to start saving early. Among the top advice from the majority (59%) of retirees was for pre-retirees to take time to really prepare for, and understand what they want from, this next phase of their lives. This includes envisioning what their day-to-day routine will look like in retirement and making adjustments to their lifestyle now that will help increase their satisfaction with that picture. "A key lesson to be learned from today's retirees is the importance of setting goals and taking time to think about how one's retirement will unfold," says Lovett-Reid. "One-third of those we surveyed did not plan for their retirement at all. If more people planned for their retirement, more would be living out their retirement dreams." "A retirement plan helps people answer important questions, such as whether or not they plan to continue working in retirement, where they'll be living, what their family responsibilities will be and what leisure activities they'll pursue," continues Lovett-Reid. "By understanding these key factors, people can then map out their income and expenses more accurately and create a personal retirement income plan." Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Canadian retirees did not work with a professional to plan for their retirement. Forty-two percent reported feeling concerned that they may not have saved enough to live out the type of retirement they originally had in mind. "What is key in building a retirement plan is that it must allow for varying income needs - and that is why it is so important to consult with a financial professional to ensure this financial flexibility is built in." "The most important advice I have for those who haven't started planning for retirement is that it's never too late," concludes Lovett-Reid. "Once you take that first step, you're in a much better position to make well-informed decisions and, ultimately, take control of your retirement reality." Other poll findings: - When asked about the most fulfilling aspect of retirement, retirees point to simple pleasures with an equal number (26%) citing spending time with family and pursuing hobbies. - Ontarians and Albertans are most likely to spend time volunteering in retirement (33% and 22% respectively), while Quebecers are least likely (12%). - Men are more likely than women to work part-time in retirement (16% vs. 9%) and four times as likely as women to work on a consulting basis (8% vs. 2%). - Women are more likely than men to report that they are not living their retirement dreams and that retirement has been very different from what they imagined (20% of women vs. 15% of men). The Canadians and Retirement survey was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies in March 2008. The online survey polled a randomly selected, representative sample of 801 adult Canadians between the ages of 55 and 70 who are currently retired. About TD Bank Financial Group The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Commerce Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$435 billion in assets as of January 31, 2008. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For further information: Carolyn Abbass/Stephanie Hurley, Paradigm Public Relations, (416) 203-2223,

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