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11th annual TD Waterhouse Women Investor Poll finds both women and men prioritize retirement savings, not luxury items, in defining financial success


TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2011 /CNW/ - Women and men may agree on how they define financial success but not necessarily on how to get there. According to the 11th annual TD Waterhouse Women Investor Poll, which surveyed Canadian women and men ages 45-64 who share in the responsibility of their household's finances, saving enough for a comfortable retirement is the biggest measure of financial success for both women and men (70% of women vs. 66% of men).

"It's great to see both women and men making retirement savings their number one priority," says Sandy Cimoroni, President, TD Mutual Funds. "While they may differ on the best strategy to take, men and women across Canada certainly have their sights set on an important measure of financial success."

Sandy Cimoroni and Lee Bennett, Senior Vice President, TD Waterhouse Financial Planning, provide their insight on gender differences and views on achieving financial success.

How do you define financial success?
While women were more likely than men to cite having an emergency fund as a factor for financial success (69% vs. 60% respectively), both women and men defined financial success by similar attributes: being debt free (67% vs. 62% respectively) and being able to pay bills on time (67% and 61% respectively).

An interesting response was that the majority of Canadians don't consider having money for the 'finer things in life' as a measure of success, with only 20% of Canadians saying they define financial success as being able to afford luxuries such as a flashy car, summer home or expensive jewelry.

"It's reassuring that Canadians realize that long-term priorities such as saving and investing are important when it comes to financial success," says Cimoroni. "Instead of defining financial success by luxuries, they are practicing responsible financial management by prioritizing retirement savings, managing their current expenses and saving for the unexpected."

"While it's important to define financial success based on your personal situation and the goals you are working towards, it's also important to outline the steps you are taking to achieve these goals," says Bennett. "Having a financial plan is a great start and one of the most important steps you can take on the road to a financially secure future. Remember, however, that a plan is just the start: it's what you do with your plan, and how you use it to help you reach financial success, that really makes the difference."

Achieving financial success
The steps women and men take to help achieve financial success differ - men are more likely to prioritize paying off credit cards in full (64% vs. 56% of women) and contributing to an RRSP (41% of men vs. 34% of women), whereas women are more likely to suggest that following a budget to manage spending (54% of women vs. 46% of men) is the key to success. While these are important ways to achieve financial success, another essential step is to seek advice from a professional advisor, which was lower in priority for both men and women (37% and 34% respectively).

"An advisor can provide advice and knowledge to help you achieve financial success," adds Bennett. "What matters most is ensuring you have clearly-defined goals - and that you're working towards them. Consider what your short, medium and long-term financial goals are, and the steps needed to attain these goals."

The majority of Canadian women have the right idea when it comes to investing for the future. Nine in ten believe you should start investing as soon as you can, even if it is a small amount (93%). They also recognize the importance of avoiding debt when possible: 67% say that they would rather postpone a major purchase than buy it on credit.

"You can't procrastinate when it comes to defining and implementing a strategy," adds Cimoroni. "Financial success can only come with concrete steps toward measurable objectives, so the sooner you start on a path towards defining and attaining your financial goals, the better off you will be."

About the TD Waterhouse Women Investor Poll
The TD Waterhouse Women Investor Poll surveyed 1,000 Canadian women ages 45-64, and 500 Canadian men ages 45-64, who share in the responsibility of planning the finances for their households. Results for the study were collected through an online survey by Environics Research Group of women investors across Canada, conducted between September 22-28, 2011, and of men investors across Canada conducted between November 18-21, 2011.

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 approximately 20.5 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, TD Insurance, and TD Auto Finance Canada; 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 TD Auto Finance U.S.; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 7.5 million online customers. TD had CDN$686 billion in assets on October 31, 2011. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

About TD Waterhouse
TD Waterhouse represents the products and services offered by TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. (Member - 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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