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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
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Canadians focused on saving and paying off debt to prepare for retirement, according to RBC poll

23 rd Annual RRSP survey finds twice as many younger Canadians intend to maximize their RRSP contributions for the 2012 tax year

TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - While the top activity for preparing for retirement remains saving money (70 per cent), Canadians not yet retired are taking a more holistic approach and are also focused on paying off debt (66 per cent), according to the 23rd Annual RBC RRSP Poll. Figuring out what regular expenses would be (45 per cent) and building up an investment portfolio (39 per cent) were the next most common activities cited in preparation for retirement.

Balancing these competing financial priorities remains a challenge for many Canadians. This year's study found that more Canadians are worried about balancing saving for immediate priorities versus saving for the longer term (81 per cent in 2012 compared to 77 per cent in 2011).

"Balancing those short and long terms goals can be tricky," said Amalia Costa, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC. "This is where having a financial plan, preferably one that is documented, and working with a financial advisor can help you prioritize your goals, discuss your options and chart a course of action to realize those goals."

While it is advisable for many Canadians to maximize their RRSP contributions, just over one-in-four (27 per cent) Canadians with an RRSP plan to do so for the 2012 tax year. Younger Canadians are breaking this trend: twice as many Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 with an RRSP say they will contribute the maximum allowable amount this year (32 per cent in 2012 compared to 16 per cent in 2011).

"When planning for retirement, it's important to start as early as possible. It is great to see so many younger Canadians doing just that," added Costa. "One of the most effective ways to build your retirement nest egg is an automatic contribution plan. It's an easy and highly effective way to create that savings habit by setting aside funds on a regular basis. This is done automatically - you don't have to think about it and often, you won't even miss it."

2012 RRSP FAST FACTS

  • More than half (55 per cent) of Canadians have an RRSP, in line with 54 per cent in 2009 and down from 60 per cent in 2011.
  • Among those who plan to make a one-time contribution to their RRSPs, 27 per cent already did so in January/February 2012; another one-in-four (25 per cent) plan to do so in February 2013.
  • The average planned RRSP contribution for the 2012 tax year is $4,025 — its lowest level in four years.
  • Among Canadians who have an RRSP, 73 per cent plan to contribute at least as much as what they contributed for 2011; almost half (46 per cent) of those aged 18-34 say they will contribute more for 2012.
  • Only one-in-three RRSP investors (32 per cent) make regular contributions through a plan.
  • Mutual funds remain the top planned RRSP investment choice (46 per cent) for the 2012 tax year, followed by Guaranteed Investment Certificates (24 per cent) and savings accounts (22 per cent).

About RBC's financial planning advice, resources and interactive tools
The RBC Advice Centre offers free online advice, resources and tools regarding retirement and estate planning including RRSPs, the RSP-Matic® Savings Calculator and updates on the federal government's RRSP First Time Home Buyers' Plan. In addition, RBC's myFinanceTracker, a comprehensive online financial management tool, offers all personal RBC online banking clients the ability, at no cost, to create a set budget and track their spending habits and to access H&R Block tax-related apps in the new myTax Centre, to help manage and plan their taxes.

About the 23rd Annual RBC RRSP Poll
The 23rd Annual RBC RRSP poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid between October 24 and November 27, 2012 via a random sample of 1,225 Canadian adults in the general population (aged 18 and over). The results are based on samples where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. A weighted probability sample of 1,225 Canadian respondents, with 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of ±3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE RBC

Image with caption: "23rd Annual RBC RRSP Poll: What did you do to get ready for retirement?/ What do/will you expect to do to get ready for retirement? (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121212_C8117_PHOTO_EN_21852.jpg

Image with caption: "23rd Annual RBC RRSP Poll: How much do you worry about balancing saving for your immediate priorities versus putting money away for the longer term or for your retirement? (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121212_C8117_PHOTO_EN_21855.jpg

Image with caption: "23rd Annual RBC RRSP Poll: Just over 1-in-4 Canadians who have RRSPs plan to contribute the maximum allowable contribution (CNW Group/RBC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121212_C8117_PHOTO_EN_21853.jpg

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Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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