Baby boomers’ regrets

If they had to do it all over again, baby boomers would invest more in real estate. If they had a second chance at planning their retirement, 35% would invest in real estate, 31% would opt for guaranteed investment certificates and 20% would choose cash.

What retirement planning advice can baby boomers give to young people today? 45% would suggest repaying their mortgage loan as fast as possible. If that figure appears high, consider that rapid mortgage repayment came in last behind quickly opening an RRSP with a regular contribution (59%), a tax-free savings account with a maximum investment each year (53%) and establishment of a financial plan (50%).

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These data come from a national survey by BMO Financial Group on registered retirement savings plans.

“Buying a home may be one of the most important financial decisions a person can make and this investment could represent a considerable nest egg later in the investor’s life,” said Laura Parsons, BMO Bank of Montreal mortgage expert. “However, Canadians must first avoid having to pay a mortgage loan during their retirement years. One way to do that is by choosing a shorter amortization period—preferably no longer than 25 years—which reduces interest charges by thousands of dollars that can be invested directly in retirement savings.”

Apart from the Atlantic region, at 36% Quebec baby boomers least regret not having invested in real estate, far behind British Columbia (59%), the Prairies (50%), Ontario (45%) and Alberta (40%).

The same applies to rapid mortgage payment. 58% of baby boomers in British Columbia regret not having done so, compared to 53% in the Prairies, 52% in Alberta, 48% in Ontario and, far behind, 34% in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.