Most Canadians feel "dream retirement" out of reach

Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:01pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Nine out of 10 Canadians say they will have enough retirement income to cover their basic needs, but three-quarters think that the retirement of their dreams is out of reach, according to a poll released on Monday by Royal Bank of Canada.

The online survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that 75 percent of retired Canadians did not know how much they spent in their first year of retirement. Those who did know said they spent about C$35,000 ($34,000).

While that number was down from C$51,000 in RBC's 2008 survey, around half of the respondents said they spent more than they had expected.

"How much money you'll need in retirement depends on how you'll be spending your time, with many Canadians underestimating the amount they will need," Lee Anne Davies, head of retirement strategies at RBC, said in a statement.

Almost half of Canadians who have not yet retired were worried about having enough savings, while 29 percent of retirees had the same concern.

About 40 percent of both groups said they were concerned about maintaining their standard of living.

Retirees were more worried than non-retirees about the cost of health care, at 33 percent versus 28 percent, and about the effect of inflation on retirement finances, 33 percent versus 22 percent.

The poll of 1,457 adults from Ipsos Reid's Canadian online panel was conducted between October 21 and November 2 and has an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 2.56 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

($1=$1.03 Canadian)

(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway)