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- TD Waterhouse Boomer Happiness Index finds only 15% of boomers feel 'very well-prepared' for retirement -


TORONTO, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - Baby boomers are rapidly approaching retirement, but aren't financially ready, according to the recent TD Waterhouse Boomer Happiness Index. The Index polled boomers (ages 45-64) to determine their emotional and financial state heading into retirement. One of the key findings was that while 87% of boomers say that in general, they are happy, this level of happiness changes when they are asked about retirement. Sixty-seven per cent say they are worried they won't have enough money and only 15% feel very well-prepared, suggesting that this generation, who also responded that they believe boomers will "redefine retirement," may be going about it the wrong way.

Money doesn't buy happiness, but it appears that having a financial plan does.
Boomers' money concerns appear warranted since only 34% of boomers have a plan in place for retirement. The Index also 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.

"Most Canadians recognize the importance of planning ahead to ensure that they are financially ready when they stop working. Yet, it's concerning that even as boomers approach retirement age, many still haven't established a 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 counting on a winning lottery ticket?
The top three ways planned to fund retirement are: RRSPs (61%), Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan (60%) and company pensions (47%). Thirty-nine per cent of boomers plan to fund their retirement by continuing to work. Alarmingly almost one-third (32%) stated that they are relying on winning the lottery. While this statement may be tongue-in-cheek, according to the survey results this group is less likely to have a financial plan and more likely to be 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 were: keeping healthy and active (74%), maintaining their current standard of living (67%) and running out of money in retirement (67%). 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 you 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 the 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 (ages 65-74) recommend for the next generation are: start saving earlier (85%), pay off your mortgage faster (61%) and save more money or invest in an RSP (61%).

"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.

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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