RRSPs more popular with men, TFSAs with women

More men saving for retirement by age 34: RBC
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 02/21/2012

There continue to be significant differences between Canadian men and women in how they save and invest their money, what they choose to invest in and how much money they invest, according an RBC survey.

More men (63 per cent) than women (58 per cent) save and invest in registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) but more women (53 per cent) than men (48 per cent) save and invest in tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), found the He Says, She Says survey of 1,224 adults.

On average, the amount of money in RRSPs held by men exceeds that for women by $12,000 ($79,663 compared to $67,518); men also have slightly more funds in their TFSAs ($8,730 compared $8,007).

Men are less likely to worry about balancing savings for immediate needs versus putting money away for the longer term or retirement (73 per cent compared to 80 per cent). As a top financial priority, women focus more on making regular payments to reduce or eliminate debt (50 per cent compared to 47 per cent); for men, saving for retirement is more important (51 per cent compared to 46 per cent).

Men and women also differ in the types of RRSP investments they prefer, found the survey. Men opt for mutual funds (56 per cent) more than women do (37 per cent) while more women than men invest in guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) or term deposits (33 per cent compared to 24 per cent).

The differences are even more striking when looking at stocks, found RBC, with more than twice as many men making these investments compared to women (22 per cent and 10 per cent respectively).

"Women tend to be more conservative in their investments — they want steady returns and the flexibility to be able to take care of more immediate financial needs," said Jason Round, head of financial planning support at RBC Financial Planning. "Men are more comfortable with investments that go through cycles."

Other findings from the poll:

Canadian
Men

Canadian
Women

Hold RRSPs

63%

58%

Hold TFSAs

48%

53%

Average reported market value of RRSPs

$79,663

$67,518

Average amount of money in TFSAs

$8,730

$8,007

Building investment portfolio

26%

19%

Began saving for retirement by age 34

56%

46%

Have a financial plan

52%

48%

Financial plan is on paper

43%

51%

Very involved with financial plan

35%

41%

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