I just reviewed the results of a couples retirement study conducted by TNS Canadian Facts for Scotiabank and was surprised to learn that when it comes to retirement, Canadian couples aged 50 and above simply don’t agree with each other on such important topics as finances and lifestyle. Apparently, according to the study, this lack of consensus comes from too little conversation. (So, what else is new?)   The study looked at Canadian couples with at least one partner aged 50 or over and still working. It examined attitudes and planning for post retirement as well as financial and lifestyle priorities. Examples of such priorities include travel, spending time with family and friends, practicing healthy aging, and accommodations. (That last one refers to place of abode.)   It also reflects the fact that less than one quarter of respondents claim to have had a thorough discussion with their spouse or partner about all aspects of retirement while 55 percent say they have a rather rough idea of how each other feels. Some 23 percent haven’t discussed it all, or haven’t discussed it as much as they should. (I love that “rough” idea.)   In short, the results found that Canadian couples are most out of touch with each other in the areas of financial planning, financial concerns, and their outlook toward retirement. In fact, some 60 percent disagree on the basic question of whether or not they are even looking forward to retirement. (Oh, my, that’s not what I hear from my train buddies who are much younger than me and would retire at the drop of a dime.)   Moreover, couples apparently also disagree when it comes to the role that family and friends will play in retirement, with only half agreeing. Surprisingly, in only eight percent of couples are both people primarily interested in spending time with their partner rather than with other family/friends or by themselves. (Ouch!)   This Couples Retirement Study was conducted for Scotiabank using TSN Canadian Facts online panel. Respondents for the survey were couples who are married or in a common-law relationship, with at least one partner aged 50 or over, and working full-time. Household investable assets were at least $50,000.   Of course, couples do share the same level of concern in their ability to retire comfortably with 65 percent saying that they are very or fairly confident they can do so. A full 44 percent of respondents, however, still do not have a formal financial plan. (Hmmmmm!)    

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