Poll: Retirement Savings Third on Canadians' Goal List

February 26, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Only six of 10 Canadians in a recent survey listed retirement savings as being very important, ranking it third behind paying down personal debt and making effective investment choices as financial goals.

Despite the somewhat tepid response about the importance of retirement savings, nearly 60% said they believe in financial goal setting in general but only about 40% were certain they will be able to meet those objectives.

Some 48% of Canadians hire a financial advisor to help them reach their money goals while only one in three have a formal written plan setting out what they need to do to reach their financial objectives.

Having such a document apparently helps since a significantly higher percentage of Canadians (45%) with formal written money plans are more likely to be satisfied with their ability to achieve their financial goals than those without a plan (34%). The study also found that Canadians who make monthly contributions to savings or investments are more satisfied with their ability to achieve their financial goals (42%) than those who contribute less than once per year (32%).

Asked to list their goals, paying down personal debt led the list with 77% of Canadians saying it is very important to them. Yet, only 39% of those reported that they are very close to achieving this goal.

Next on the goal list was making the best investment choices with 62% of Canadians saying it is very important. Some 29% of those indicated that they are very close to achieving this goal. Saving for retirement came in third with only 25% saying they believe they are very close to achieving that goal.

The poll was conducted February 4th and February 6th, 2003 and involved 1,000 adult Canadians.

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