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Royal Bank of Canada says 70 per cent of survey respondents in the 50-to-59 age group deem changes to their health as the major challenge they anticipate as retirees. (Matthew Sherwood for The Globe and Mail)
Royal Bank of Canada says 70 per cent of survey respondents in the 50-to-59 age group deem changes to their health as the major challenge they anticipate as retirees. (Matthew Sherwood for The Globe and Mail)

Health concerns outweigh finances for boomers headed for retirement Add to ...

Canada’s younger boomers are worried more about their health than money issues as they approach retirement, says a new study.

The report by Royal Bank of Canada says 70 per cent of survey respondents in the 50-to-59 age group deem changes to their health as the major challenge they anticipate as retirees.

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Financial concerns come in second, with 57 per cent expecting changes to their income to be a challenge in retirement.

More men – 73 per cent – than women – 66 per cent – expressed health concerns, according to the 2013 RBC Retirement Myths & Realities Poll.

“Younger boomers are more health-conscious as they near and enter retirement. Watching their older relatives and friends age has made this generation more aware that good health is not something to take for granted,” Amalia Costa, head of retirement and strategies and successful aging at RBC, said in a news release Tuesday.

According to the survey, 40 per cent of younger boomers don’t expect health or disabilities to change their lifestyle or autonomy, but 27 per cent report that a major health issue or decline has affected them or a family member over the past year.

Also coming into play is the caregiver role to adults many boomers now must take on.

The poll indicates that 42 per cent of younger boomers said that being a caregiver to another adult was a support function they had done in the past, were doing now or expected to do some time in the future.

The baby boom generation – representing 29 per cent of the population – began retiring last year.

The poll was based on online interviews and conducted by Ipsos Reid from Feb. 27, 2013 to March 12, 2013, using a national sample of 2,159 adults aged 50 or over, with household assets of at least $100,000.

A survey with a sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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