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- TD Waterhouse Boomer Happiness Index shows 81% of Atlantic boomers worry about keeping healthy and active during retirement -

TORONTO, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - Two-thirds of Atlantic Canadian baby boomers (65%) worry their retirement nest eggs will run out too soon. To prevent this, 30% say they are working hard to build up their savings, but report they are more than ten years away from retiring. This is according to the TD Waterhouse Boomer Happiness Index, which polled boomers (ages 45-64) and pre-boomers (ages 65-74) to determine their emotional and financial state as they prepare for, or enter, retirement. Despite minimal retirement savings, and worries about their lifestyle in retirement, boomers and pre-boomers in Atlantic Canada are more likely than any other region to say that in general, they are happy (96% versus 90% nationally).

Money doesn't buy happiness, but it appears that having a financial plan does.

Only 35% of Atlantic Canada boomers and pre-boomers have a financial plan in place for retirement - the lowest in the country. And while the Boomer Happiness Index found that boomers and pre-boomers in the Atlantic provinces are happy, a financial plan could help them feel happier. The Index found a correlation between having a financial plan and happiness levels: when thinking about their current or future retirement, boomers who have a financial plan are more likely to feel happy (55% versus 31%) or relieved (37% versus 22%) than those without.

"Atlantic Canada boomers may be working hard to build up their savings, but only a small percentage actually has a financial plan in place. It's essential to establish a written, comprehensive plan for achieving a financially-secure retirement," says Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice President, TD Waterhouse. "Planning, saving and investing for retirement is even more critical now than ever before - we can't afford to ignore it."

Are boomers and pre-boomers counting on a winning lottery ticket?

The top three ways boomers and pre-boomers in Atlantic Canada plan to fund their retirement are: Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan (75%), RRSPs (54%) and company pensions (46%).

When it comes to their savings, half (50%) of boomers and pre-boomers in Atlantic provinces feel like they are behind where they should be in terms of retirement savings compared to their peers. One quarter (26%) of Atlantic Canada boomers and pre-boomers will fund their retirement by continuing to work and alarmingly, another quarter (26%) even declared they hoped to win the lottery to help supplement their savings. While this statement may be tongue-in-cheek, according to poll results, this group is less likely to have a financial plan, be more anxious about retirement and feel behind in their savings.

What's keeping boomers up at night?

When thinking about retirement, the top fears voiced by boomers in Atlantic Canada were: keeping healthy and active (81%), having enough money to last through retirement (65%) and maintaining their current standard of living (61%). While these concerns aren't all financial in nature, retirement anxieties may be alleviated by planning ahead and seeking the advice of professionals who can help develop a plan that takes into consideration your personal circumstances and goals, as well as help you offset risks.

And it's not just about achieving a target amount of savings before retirement. "As your retirement draws closer, speaking with a financial advisor about creating a clearly-defined retirement income plan will help you compare your current and future sources of income against your expenses," says John Tracy, Vice-President, Managed Investments & Wealth Planning, TD Waterhouse. "An advisor can help you build sound financial strategies to reduce taxes as well as work to minimize the effects of market and financial risks throughout your retirement years, so your money is there when you need it."

Passing on wisdom: helpful tips from those with experience.

The top three pieces of advice that boomers and pre-boomers recommend for the next generation are: start saving earlier (91%), pay off your mortgage faster (73%) and save more money or invest in an RSP (66%). Two-thirds (66%) recommend finding employment with the government or a company that offers a pension.

"I agree that the most important tip is to start saving earlier: don't procrastinate," says Lovett-Reid. "Given that those with a retirement plan in place are happier than those without, it makes sense both financially and emotionally to seek the help of a qualified advisor who can coach you through the process. Even do-it-yourself investors can gain valuable insights from a second opinion."

About The TD Waterhouse Boomer Happiness Index

The TD Waterhouse Boomer Happiness Index polled boomers (age 45-64) and pre-boomers (age 65-74) through a custom, online survey. The survey was conducted by Environics Research from December 2 -7, 2010, and polled 1,000 Canadians including 80 Canadians in Atlantic Canada.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD or the Bank). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 19 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 and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD had C$620 billion in assets on October 31, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

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