Canadians more optimistic than Americans about retirement: BMO

But three-quarters worried about RRSP performance
||Last Updated: 01/16/2012

Canadians, in general, have a higher level of confidence and optimism than their counterparts south of the border when it comes to retirement, according to a survey by BMO Financial Group.

Almost 60 per cent of Canadians are confident in their ability to save for their ideal retirement lifestyle compared to fewer than 40 per cent of Americans.

"Despite the effect that the 2008 global recession had on investors' abilities to save for retirement, the Canadian economy has fared significantly better than what's been seen in the U.S.; this has contributed to our more optimistic outlook," said Tina Di Vito, head of the BMO Retirement Institute.

However, almost three-quarter (71 per cent) of Canadians are concerned about the performance of their registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), while almost 90 per cent of U.S. residents have similar concerns about the performance of their 401K, a U.S. retirement savings plan similar to an RRSP, said BMO.

"These results reflect a sense of weariness among U.S. investors who, for the last few years, have been dealing with high degrees of market volatility and economic uncertainty," said Todd Perala, director of relationship management at BMO institutional trust services.

The survey also found almost two-thirds of Canadians have an RRSP in place, while only 34 per cent of Americans invest in a 401K.

And one-half of Canadians and Americans said they have or may have to delay their retirement or work part-time during retirement due to a shortage of retirement savings, found the survey of 1,520 Canadians and 1,032 Americans.

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