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Who Will Decide When You Will Retire? RBC Poll Finds Boomers May Be Surprised By The Answer

Four-in-ten boomers had less than six months notice before they retired

TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Many (85 per cent) pre-retired Boomers with financial assets of $100,000 or more believe they will have the choice of when to retire, however, only 62 per cent of retired Boomers actually did have the choice, according to the third annual RBC Retirement Myths and Realities Poll.

"Most Canadians assume they will decide when to retire, but what if that isn't the case?" said Amalia Costa, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC. "There are enough uncertainties in life -- knowing what to expect in retirement doesn't have to be one of them."

The RBC poll found that Boomers don't always have much lead time in advance of their retirement date. In fact, one-in-five (20 per cent) retired Boomers knew one month or less before their actual retirement that they were going to retire and 42 per cent had less than six months notice before they retired.

"The surprising number of people facing unexpected retirement highlights the critical importance of starting lifestyle and financial planning early," said Roger Mannell, director of the RBC Retirement Research Centre at the University of Waterloo and a professor of recreation and leisure studies, public health, and gerontology. "As someone who not only studies successful aging, but who is retiring within a year, I've given much thought to my retirement. Many may be thinking of retirement as a vacation without yet having planned for the health, lifestyle, and financial considerations of the next 20 to 30 years of their retired life. Although important, vacations are only part of the mix - it's important to plan for key aspects of your day-to-day living."

The poll also found that for those retired Boomers who felt their retirement came at the right time, the majority (78 per cent) say they wanted to enjoy an active retirement while their health was good. Being healthy was cited as the main reason for the timing of their retirement, ahead of having enough money (34 per cent) or being unhappy at work (25 per cent).

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