TORONTO, Nov. 17 2008 – A survey of 2,200 Canadians by Russell Investments Canada and Harris/Decima Research indicated that 10 years before retirement, 61% of Canadians worried about outliving their money, but the reality is that 10 years into retirement, only about one in five retirees were still worried.
“There is a significant gap between what Canadians think about their financial health once they are truly retired, compared to how they feel before actually getting there,” said Irshaad Ahmad, President and Managing Director, Russell Investments Canada Limited.
The survey looked at eleven different variables that asked Canadians to assess concerns about their financial health in retirement. Areas of financial impact questions included physical health, personal finances, unexpected events and financial planning.
“In an effort to help Canadians get a better understanding of where their finances stand in today’s volatile market, we’ve used the baseline results of the survey to launch the Russell Financial Health Index – which is a user-friendly Web tool that offers Canadians a simple and confidential way to gauge their own financial health and compare it to thousands of investors across the country,” says Ahmad.
The Russell Financial Health Index is available in both official languages at www.myfinanciallyhealthyretirement.com. The Index will gather its data from a confidential web survey, which takes approximately five minutes to complete. Based on their answers, users are assigned a Financial Health Score, which can be measured against the scores of other Canadian investors who have used the tool.
Each score is a result of analyzing variables that include physical health, personal finances, unexpected events and financial planning. Respondents are also asked questions related to how prepared they feel to ride out changes in their long term investment performance before and during retirement.
The Index can be revisited and updated any time personal financial circumstances or financial markets evolve. Findings from the Index will be used to assess and report findings, on a quarterly basis, about how Canadians perceive their financial health, as they deal with different economic environments and changes in their lives.
“Personal results obtained from using our new website survey tool for the Russell Financial Health Index can help investors identify potential situations that may merit exploring with an advisor. Working with a financial professional is recognized as critical to the investor’s financial health,” says Ahmad.
“The good news for Canadians is that financial health throughout retirement is not only possible, but probable. By continuing to invest in a conservative portfolio of equities to cover essential costs, additional lifestyle expenses and unforeseen circumstances, you can retire from work. But you shouldn’t retire from investing.”
Russell Investments provides strategic advice, world-class implementation, state-of-the-art performance benchmarks and a range of institutional-quality investment products. With nearly US$213 billion in assets under management (as of 3/31/08), Russell serves individual, institutional and advisor clients in more than 40 countries. Russell provides access to some of the world’s best money managers. It helps investors put this access to work in corporate defined benefit and defined contribution plans, and in the life savings of individual investors. Founded in 1936, Russell Investments is a subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and headquartered in Tacoma, Wash. Russell has principal offices in Amsterdam, Auckland, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.
Russell Investments Canada Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Frank Russell Company. For more information, please go to www.russell.com/ca.