42% of Canadians Over 40 Considering Deferring Retirement by Nearly 6 years: Desjardins

Latest retirement facts: Market turbulence forcing Canadians to rethink their retirement objectives and savings plans.

L�vis (Qu�bec), November 20, 2008 – Approximately 42% of Canadians over 40 are thinking about deferring their retirement by an average of 5.9 years. An annual survey on rethinking retirement carried out recently by Desjardins Group showed that more women (50%) than men (36%) feel this way.

The current financial climate is pushing Canadians over 40 to adopt a more cautious approach to retirement planning. The survey reveals that they are ready to compromise in order to save more money for retirement and are more selective when it comes to investing the money they have saved.

Carried out between June and August 2008 among 2,217 individuals, the initial survey showed that a majority of Canadians were confident about their financial security and their retirement plans. In October, however, with the rise of financial market turmoil, a second survey showed that many people were considering other options.

This is a major contrast with the results of previous surveys, which indicated that most Canadians believed they would reach their retirement objectives regardless of market volatility.

�The current financial market instability provides an excellent opportunity for Canadians to reassess their retirement strategy based on their investor profile,� stated Eric Lemieux, Vice-President, Wealth Management at Desjardins Group.

The June-to-August survey asked Canadians what they would be prepared to do to increase their retirement savings. Some of the main answers given were:

  • Put off a major purchase or expense to avoid using credit (83%)
  • Take cheaper vacations (77%)
  • Bring their lunch to work rather than buying it or going out to a restaurant (69%)
  • Substantially reduce the use of their car and their gas consumption (68%)
  • Reduce spending on sports and cultural activities (62%)
  • Get rid of the household’s second car (58%)
  • Reduce expenses related to their children’s activities (35%)

Meanwhile, the October survey included questions intended to determine whether Canadians had become more cautious with respect to their financial decisions, given the current economic climate. Respondents over 40 stated that the following aspects would be very important to them when the time came to choose their savings and investment instruments over the coming years:

  • Personal and financial needs (49%)
  • Guarantee on invested capital (48%)
  • Financial stability of the institution (47%)
  • Returns on invested capital (40%)
  • Quality of advice received (39%)

�Canadians over 40 are becoming more aware than ever about retirement issues and they are prepared to invest in order to achieve their ambitions,� added Mr. Lemieux. �With the diversity of their personal and family profiles as well as their large variety of needs, they want to be supported along the way and feel comfortable with the decisions they make, regardless of what happens on the financial markets.�

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, with overall assets of $147 billion, as at September 30, 2007. It comprises a network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Qu�bec and Ontario, and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general insurance, securities brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of which are active across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000 employees and the commitment of nearly 6,800 elected officers, Desjardins offers its 5.8 million individual and corporate members and clients a full range of financial products and services. Its physical distribution network is complemented by leading-edge virtual access methods. http://www.desjardins.com/