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- TD Waterhouse Boomer Happiness Index shows boomers from Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the most likely to retire in the next five years -

TORONTO, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - More than one-third of working boomers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan plan to retire in the next five years (37% versus 25% nationally). But are they ready? Despite the short timeline, only 61% of Manitoba and Saskatchewan boomers feel financially ready to retire. 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, 85% say they are happy, yet nearly seven in ten worry they won't have enough money to last through their retirement.

Money doesn't buy happiness, but it appears that having a financial plan does.
Manitoba and Saskatchewan boomers' and pre-boomers' concerns about money are warranted: although they are most likely in the country to have a financial plan, less than half surveyed in the provinces have one (45% versus 36% nationally). The Index also found a correlation between having a financial plan and happiness levels: when thinking about their current or future retirement, Canadian boomers who have a financial plan are more likely to feel happy (55% versus 31%) or relieved (37% versus 22%) than those without.

"It's concerning that while there is a significant number of boomers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan preparing to retire, only one-third of those surveyed have established a comprehensive, written plan for achieving a financially-secure retirement," says Crystal Wong, TD Waterhouse Financial Planning Senior Regional Manager in Calgary. "Most Canadians recognize the importance of planning ahead to ensure that they are financially ready when they stop working. Planning, saving and investing is critical to ensuring that you can enjoy your retirement."

Are boomers and pre-boomers hoping for a winning lottery ticket?
The top three ways boomers and pre-boomers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan plan to fund their retirement are: Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan (80%), RSPs (73%) and company pensions (59%).

The majority of those surveyed in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (53%) feel behind in their retirement savings compared to their peers. To grow their retirement nest eggs, nearly a third (30%) will continue to work. Alarmingly, another third (33%) even declared they hoped to win the lottery to help supplement their savings. While this statement may be tongue-in-cheek, this group is: less likely to have a financial plan, more anxious about retirement and feel behind in their savings.

What's keeping boomers and pre-boomers up at night?
The top concerns boomers and pre-boomers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan voiced about retirement were: keeping healthy and active (74%), not having enough money to maintain their current standard of living (69%) or enough savings to last through retirement (68%).

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 financial plan will help you compare your current and future sources of income against your expenses," says Wong. "An accredited financial 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. A comprehensive financial plan will also include strategies for transition of wealth and estate planning: key elements in a retirement plan."

Passing on wisdom: helpful tips from those with experience.
The top three pieces of advice Manitoba and Saskatchewan boomers and pre-boomers recommend for the next generation are: start saving earlier (85%), save more money or invest more in an RSP (61%) and get professional financial advice about your retirement (58%).

"I agree that the most important tip is to start saving earlier: don't procrastinate," says Wong. "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 in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

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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