Canadians dream of early retirement but few are taking steps to achieve it

Jan 15, 2013, 08:00 ET from ING DIRECT

ING DIRECT survey finds 65% of Canadians either don't have an RSP or have made no contributions to their retirement savings in 2012

TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Two-thirds of Canadians (65%) are worried about their financial wellbeing during retirement and many admit to not even having an RSP, according to a new survey from ING DIRECT. When asked what concerns them most about their impending golden years, 56% admit not having enough income to sustain a good quality of life, while 13% are afraid of still having debt.

The study, commissioned by ING DIRECT and hosted on the Angus Reid panel, found that, despite their concern, nearly half of Canadians (48%) don't have a financial plan in place. Key reasons for not having a retirement plan include: it not being a priority (24%), not feeling knowledgeable enough to create a financial plan (18%) and not having the right tools to create a plan (17%).

"While paying off debt and saving for other goals, like a child's education, are  important priorities, they're often done at the expense of saving for retirement", said Peter Aceto, president and CEO, ING DIRECT. "You need to strike a financial balance so that contributing to an RSP isn't overlooked.   By starting early, even if it means starting small, you can feel confident that you're taking care of your financial future."

While Canadians appear eager to retire early - 20% of those polled say they plan to retire by age 60, a number that increases to 28% when looking at Canadians ages 18 to 34 - few have the financial habits to support their early retirement dreams. An alarming 65% of Canadians say they either don't have a retirement savings plan or did not make any contributions to their RSP in 2012.

In addition to the financial implications of neglecting retirement savings, Canadians admit it's also taking a toll on their emotional health. More than a quarter (26%) of Canadians who did not make RSP contributions in 2012 described themselves as feeling concerned, stressed/anxious,  hopeless or overwhelmed about it.

"Planning for retirement and coming up with a financial plan really doesn't have to be complicated," said Aceto. "If you're not sure where to start, begin by having conversations about things like money and retirement investments with your family and friends. Social media and other online tools can also provide great information to help you think about money and how to plan your financial future."

ING DIRECT's online Retirement Calculator is an easy-to-use resource that can help Canadians calculate how much they will need to save between now and retirement. The calculator provides an estimate based on current retirement savings, monthly contributions, age and other factors.

Saving regularly yields confidence

Canadians who made RSP contributions in 2012 are decidedly more positive about their saving habits. When asked to sum up how they feel about saving during RSP season, these regular contributors described themselves as feeling calm (29%), safe (20%) and confident (20%).

One key to their positivity and savings success might be in regular, automatic savings habits. Over a third (35%) of Canadians who plan to retire and have an RSP say they have money automatically transferred to an RSP account on a regular basis. One in 10 say they make one lump sum to their RSP accounts during RSP season (January - February) while 6% deposit one lump sum at some other point during the year.

ING DIRECT offers Canadians a range of retirement investment options, including RSPs, TFSAs, Mutual Funds, GICs, and savings accounts. New clients who open a RSP or TFSA by March 1, 2013 are eligible to receive ING DIRECT's $50 new client bonus*. Visit to learn more.

About the Survey

On December 14, 2012, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1,008 Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 3.09%, 19 times out of 20. The sample was balanced by age, gender and region according to the most recent census data. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


ING Bank of Canada, operating under the trade name of ING DIRECT, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scotiabank.  ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.8 million Clients and close to $40 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT is a bright way forward in everyday banking for Canadians, offering value added, simple products such as high interest savings accounts, including TFSAs, GICs and RSPs with no fees or service charges, low rates on mortgages and a no-fee, daily chequing account that actually pays interest. Low cost, index based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and has paid more than $5 billion in interest to Clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at, on mobile devices at or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3473).

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