One-third of British Columbians suffer ‘anxiety’ or ‘guilt’ over RRSP deadline
(Surrey, BC) – As the March RRSP deadline for the 2018 tax year approaches, many British Columbians experience feelings of guilt and anxiety just thinking about retirement savings.
A Coast Capital Savings poll conducted by Mustel Group Market Research finds that one-third of British Columbians experience either guilt or anxiety when hearing the acronym “RRSP” (21 per cent felt guilt and 13 per cent felt anxiety).
“RRSP season is a time when people are assessing their retirement savings. For many, that assessment doesn’t line up with where they had hoped to be,” says Daryl Hosein, Coast Capital Savings’ Vice President of Treasury. “Our poll found that 67 per cent of British Columbians have a hard time saving for retirement because of day-to-day living expenses, which helps explain why people are feeling overwhelmed.”
However, Hosein says that people might be stressing unnecessarily.
“RRSP season can leave people with the impression that maxing out your annual contribution is something everyone should be doing,” explains Hosein. “The truth is, contributing to an RRSP isn’t the right approach for everyone. At Coast Capital Savings we encourage people to invest with their financial goals front of mind. Goals-based investing takes into consideration the stage of life you are at as well as your financial priorities in informing your investment approach. Sometimes there are other things that top the priority list, such as paying down debt, and that is ok too.”
People who take a holistic approach to retirement savings and have a long-term financial plan generally are more at ease this time of year because they aren’t driven by a deadline when making important financial decisions.
Hosein offers the following tips for people to help them relax around RRSP season:
- Slow and steady wins the race. Saving for retirement isn’t a sprint. Start planning for 2019 by putting away a small amount each month towards your RRSP so you’re not trying to find a large lump sum at next year’s deadline. Even $20 a month over the long term adds up quickly.
- You’ve got this! Don’t obsess over RRSPs. Depending on where you are, and your financial obligations and goals, RRSP contributions might not be your top priority – and that is ok. Whether it is saving for a child’s education, building your rainy day fund, or investing in other vehicles such as a TFSA, your strategy should be goal-based, not deadline-based.
- You’re not alone. Finances can be overwhelming and complex. A financial advisor can help you determine whether an RRSP is a good fit or not. Many financial institutions, including Coast Capital, have financial advisors that members can talk to for free.
The poll also found that:
- 34 per cent of respondents do not currently invest in an RRSP, and 81 per cent of respondents who do never reach the maximum allowable amount;
- Two out of three respondents feel their day-to-day financial obligations are limiting their ability to save for retirement;
- 63 per cent of respondents have a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and 44 per cent have access to a company pension plan;
- 29 per cent of respondents don’t invest at all.
- 12 per cent of respondents don’t have a retirement savings vehicle.
The data for Coast Capital Savings RRSP Poll was collected through an online survey from January 16 to 20, 2019. The poll was conducted among 300 residents of B.C. 18 years of age and over. The margin of error on a random probability sample of 300 respondents is ±5.7 per cent at the 95 per cent level of confidence.
About Coast Capital Savings
Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership and B.C.’s first credit union to be granted federal credit union status. An Imagine Canada Caring Company and a certified B Corporation in recognition of its social performance, the credit union invested $5.6 million into local communities in 2017, focusing on empowering and engaging youth. Coast Capital is one of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, and is a winner of the Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation. In 2018, Coast Capital was awarded the Corporate Responsibility Award at National Philanthropy Day by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Vancouver Island Chapter. It has 52 branches serving its 555,000 members in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions of British Columbia. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. To learn more, visit coastcapitalsavings.com.
About Mustel Group
Mustel Group has been a leading market research and public opinion research firm in Canada for more than 35 years, trusted by a wide range of the country’s most esteemed public and private sector institutions to design and conduct qualitative research, quantitative research and omnibus surveys in order to understand the thoughts and motivations underlying people's’ emotions, opinions and behaviours. For further information, visit https://mustelgroup.com/.
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