Thursday, October 6, 2011

CIBC Poll: Ontarians dream of retiring debt free at age 63

Ontario residents envision saving enough money to choose their retirement date, however national results indicate that optimism fades as retirement approaches

TORONTO, October 6, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontarians anticipate saving enough to retire at age 63, and most see themselves entering retirement without debt according to a new CIBC (TSX: CM ) (NYSE: CM) poll conducted by Harris/Decima. However, national results show that as Canadians draw closer to retirement they become less optimistic about reaching their savings goals and see it as more likely they'll carry at least some debt into retirement.

Findings of the poll include:

...On average, Ontario respondents believe they will retire at age 63.

...When asked why they would ultimately retire, the most popular answer among Ontario residents was that they will have saved enough money to choose to retire (35 per cent)

...Only 21 per cent of Ontarians believe they will carry some debt into retirement. Nationally, 22 per cent of Canadians believe they will carry debt into retirement. However past CIBC research shows that among retired Canadians, 54 per cent hold some form of debt

"Our CIBC Poll shows that Ontarians set out with a vision of building up their savings and eliminating debt to retire at a time of their choosing, but with each passing year we see that Canadians feel less optimistic about their plans," said Christina Kramer, Executive Vice-President, Retail Distribution and Channel Strategy, CIBC. "These findings demonstrate the importance of having a plan in place and making progress towards your goals every year, to give you the flexibility to make choices about when and how you retire."

Nationally, a key finding of the poll is that as Canadians near retirement, their optimism in reaching their savings goals for retirement drops:

For example, 43 per cent of Canadians aged 25-34 feel they will be able to choose to retire based on the savings they will accumulate over their working life

However, for those at the leading edge of the baby boom (aged 55-64) that number drops to just 21 per cent

"As Canadians get closer to retirement, many are finding they have not achieved the retirement savings goals they set for themselves, which could lead to Canadians either working longer than they anticipated, or making adjustments to their retirement such as reducing expenses to stretch their income further," added Ms. Kramer.

Canadians also see their debt being repaid by the time they retire, but as retirement draws closer this also is viewed as less likely:

For example, only 15 per cent of those in the 25-34 age group believe they'll carry any debt into retirement

That number doubles to 31 per cent for those 55-64 years of age.

Past CIBC polls show that Ontarians believe they will be debt free by age 54, but many don't reach this target. As debt is carried closer to Ontarians' target retirement age of 63 outlined in this poll, it can restrict the cash flow available for savings and may lead to Ontario residents missing the savings goals they have set for themselves.

"Your finances are all connected, meaning the more effective you are at debt management, the more funds you have available to accelerate savings for retirement," commented Ms. Kramer. "Sitting down with an advisor to map out a strategy that addresses both your savings and debt management plans is an integral step to achieving your long term savings goals and enjoying the retirement you want."

Each week, Harris/Decima interviews just over 1000 Canadians through teleVox, the company's national telephone omnibus survey. These data were gathered in a sample of 1,116 employed Canadians and 683 retired Canadians between September 8th and 19th, 2011, among which a total of 341 employed Ontarians were surveyed. A sample of this size has a margin of error of +/-2.9%, 3.7%, and 5.3% respectively, 19 times out of 20.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. For information about CIBC visit their corporate website at

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