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2011 TD Waterhouse Canadians and Retirement Report finds savings and health are key to making retirement dreams a reality

  • Six in ten retired Albertans are largely living the retirement of their dreams
  • Top financial tips they wish they were told before retiring are: save more money (57%), pay off debts before you stop working (29%) and work with a financial professional (27%)
  • Advice retirees wish to share with those next in line: take care of your health (73%), pay off all your debts before you stop working (67%) and take time to understand/prepare for retirement (64%)


CALGARY, May 31, 2011 /CNW/ - Many retired Albertans are living the retirement they always dreamed of (58%) but most admit there are things they would have done differently to alleviate some financial concerns in their golden years.

According to the TD Waterhouse Canadians and Retirement Report - which polled retirees from across Canada - many retired Albertans aren't confident they saved enough for retirement and advise those next in line to start earlier and save more.

The top tip Alberta retirees wish they were told before retiring is: save more money than you think you will need (57%). They also wish they had been told to: pay off all debts before they stopped working (29%), work with a financial professional (27%), and pay off their mortgage before they retired (21%).

"Everyone's retirement dream is unique. But regardless of what you have planned for your retirement years, without enough savings, it's almost impossible to enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling retirement lifestyle," says Crystal Wong, Senior Regional Manager, Financial Planning, TD Waterhouse.

The good news is that 58% of Albertans say that their retirement is "mostly" or "exactly" what they were expecting, so the majority are living their retirement dream. However, Alberta retirees are the least likely in the country to be enjoying "exactly" the retirement they planned (7% vs. 11% nationally). "There are many different aspects of preparing for retirement, but your most valuable asset is a written comprehensive financial plan. Understanding how much you need to save, especially early on, can make the difference between 'mostly' and 'exactly' living the retirement of your dreams," says Wong.

With three in ten (30%) of Alberta's retirees concerned they don't have enough money to do what they want, and one-quarter worried about outliving their savings, it's clear that planning and saving is needed in order to secure your financial future and live the retirement lifestyle you have in mind. Wong offers the following tips to get your savings on track, regardless of your stage in life or financial situation:

Twenty years from retiring? Retirement may seem like a distant reality, but it's important to start planning now. You don't need to be debt free to start saving for retirement: if you contribute to your RSP and then apply any tax refund you receive from making the contribution towards paying down debt, you'll likely be better off in the long term.

Ten years from retiring? The closer you get to retirement, the more important it is to take stock of your savings plan. Work with a financial advisor to monitor your progress and take corrective action if you fall off course. Consider your investment objectives, the time remaining to retirement and your risk tolerance, and map out an investment strategy that will let you optimize the returns on your RSP savings.

Five years or less from retiring? You're almost there! Before you retire, allow ample time to plan what you want to do with the money you've accumulated in your RSP. When it's time to convert your RSP, you might want to consider an RIF or an annuity. If you have more than one RSP or RIF, consider consolidating for ease and convenience. Having all your investments with one institution may also reduce your overall account administration fees.

Passing on wisdom: retired Albertans share advice for those next in line

Almost three quarters (73%) of respondents urged boomers to take care of their health. They also suggested it's a good idea to pay off their debts (67%) and take time to understand what they want out of retirement (64%).

For articles, videos and information about financial planning and saving for retirement, please visit

About the 2011 TD Waterhouse Canadians and Retirement Report

The results for the 2011 TD Waterhouse Canadians and Retirement Report were collected through a custom, online survey conducted by Environics Research Group from April 2-28, 2011. A total of 1,006 surveys were completed by retirees aged 55-70, including 132 in Alberta.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 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 approximately 7 million online customers. TD had CDN$630 billion in assets on April 30, 2011. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

TD Waterhouse represents the products and services offered by TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. (Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund), TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel Inc., TD Waterhouse Insurance Services Inc., TD Waterhouse Private Banking (offered by The Toronto-Dominion Bank) and TD Waterhouse Private Trust (offered by The Canada Trust Company).

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