When Canadians retire, they will have an average of 2,000 additional hours per year to fill – the time they now spend working. A new RBC survey of 1,500 working Canadians 50 and older found nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) are unsure what they’ll do with that extra time.

While the survey found nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) have done some planning for how they will finance retirement, less than half have done some planning for retirement lifestyle decisions, such as where they will live, where they will travel (44 per cent each) and what activities they will do (46 per cent).

Bill Hill, national financial planning consultant and retirement designer at RBC, encourages Canadians to plan for their retirement by first thinking about the kind of life they want to live in retirement, before discussing their finances.

“Too often, the word ‘retirement’ is tied to the money, rather than to the life you hope to lead when you retire,” Hill explained. “You should start by asking yourself, ‘What do I want to do when I retire?’ If you’re part of a couple, have you discussed each other’s hopes for retirement – or are you assuming your partner fully agrees with what you personally want to do? If you’re an individual, have you thought about what will be truly important to you when you retire?”

The RBC survey found more than half (61 per cent) of Canadians polled plan to stay in their current home when they retire, with more than a quarter (28 per cent) planning to renovate. A third (33 per cent) plan to downsize to smaller home.

International home designer Hilary Farr has seen first-hand how important it is for couples to have these discussions in advance – whether it’s about renovations or retirement.

“You need to have a strong foundation and a shared vision to ensure the end result satisfies everyone, whether you’re thinking about retirement or your home,” said Farr. “For your home in retirement, you should take other priorities into account as well.  For example, how important is it to you to have family and friends nearby? How easily will you be able to access healthcare or get to entertainment and other activities?”

Canadians wanting to get their own retirement design underway can find helpful, interactive resources at www.retirementdesigners.ca

About RBC’s poll
From December 30, 2015 to January 4, 2016 an online survey was conducted on behalf of RBC by Vision Critical among 1,508 randomly selected working Canadian adults ages 50 to 75 with investable household assets of $100,000 to $999,999. The margin of error is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20; discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About RBC’s retirement designing advice and resources
To help Canadians explore what they really want to do in retirement and how they will finance those years, RBC developed the unique Your Future by Design approach that helps couples and individuals get the conversation started about the goals and priorities that are important to them. Visit www.retirementdesigners.ca or any RBC Royal Bank branch to find out more. In addition, Canadians who want to get more from their day-to-day banking, protect what’s important, save and invest, borrow with confidence or take care of their businesses can find answers at the RBC Advice Centre.


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