Skip to content

Media Room

Press Kits - Investing - 2008 Fall Investment

Media Room

TD Waterhouse Poll Finds Big Gender Gap in Plans to Live Abroad in Retirement

  • "Snowbird Survey" finds women more concerned than men about living abroad in retirement
  • Access to health care coverage is a key factor for men and women
  • TD Waterhouse and TD Canada Trust launch

TORONTO, Oct. 6 - A new national poll released today by TD Waterhouse on the retirement plans of Canadian baby boomers has uncovered significant differences between men and women concerning their appetite to spend time living abroad. For both genders, however, health care coverage is the biggest factor in their decision to spend time outside of Canada each year.

Among all respondents, 45% say they will spend one month or more out of the country annually when they retire. However, significantly more men (52%) than women (37%) say they will do so. The survey goes on to explore 15 factors that might influence the decision to spend time living abroad in retirement. For each factor, women are more concerned than men - and on several factors, women are significantly more concerned. For example:.

  • 91% of women worry about being able to afford living outside of Canada vs. 77% of men
  • 81% of women are worried about being away from family or friends vs. 65% of men
  • 67% of women are concerned about getting into a retirement home when they need it vs. 49% of men
  • 48% of women are concerned about being lonely away from home vs. 33% of men
  • 81% of women are concerned about their personal safety and the crime rate in foreign countries vs. 72% of men

"Clearly women and men hold different views about living abroad in retirement, particularly whether or not they can afford it. This can be a big problem when couples are planning their retirement together," says Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice-President, TD Waterhouse. "It is very important for couples to have a discussion well in advance and work with a financial professional to develop a retirement plan. Having a plan will not only alleviate some of the concerns but will also help couples align their goals."

Factors Impacting Decision to Live Abroad During Retirement:

Less than one-in-five of all respondents plan to live outside Canada for more than three months a year and only 16% plan to buy a home outside the country. Their plans are comparable to an extended vacation rather than a long-term or permanent move abroad.

Access to health care is the leading factor in Canadians' decision to spend time abroad each year, with 94% of respondents citing it (72% say it is very important, 22% say somewhat important). Concern about the quality of health care outside Canada comes next, with 84% citing it (53% say it is very important, 31% say somewhat important). On both access to health care and quality of health care, women's responses are similar to men's, although somewhat more pronounced.

Only one-quarter of respondents say they have taken the time to investigate, either on their own or through talking to a financial professional, the financial or tax implications of living outside Canada. "With our winters, it's understandable that many Canadians want to spend some time abroad in retirement. Yet relatively few have discussed the implications with a financial professional," says Lovett-Reid. "For example, if concerns about losing health care coverage is putting a damper on how long Canadians will live abroad each year, there may be solutions that provide sufficient coverage outside the country - thereby allowing people to stay abroad longer without worry."

Other Findings:

  • Among those who plan to spend one month or more outside Canada each year, half (51%) indicate it is because they want to be in a warmer climate. One-third (34%) say it is because they want the different life experience that living abroad will give them.
  • 84% would rent outside Canada vs. 16% who would purchase a home abroad.
  • The desire to spend one month or more abroad declines from west to east: West 49%, Ontario 47%, Quebec 39%, and Atlantic Canada 32%.
  • The vast majority (87%) intend to remain Canadian citizens when they retire, 13% would seek dual citizenship if it were available, and none would relinquish their Canadian citizenship.

TD Waterhouse, with TD Canada Trust, also announced today the launch of, an interactive resource for retirement education, awareness and advice. The site offers a fresh look at retirement planning by offering Canadians strategies for meeting lifestyle and financial goals for retirement.

"Life goals and financial goals go hand in hand. That's why it's so important to think about what you really want out of retirement," concludes Lovett-Reid. "If you expect to travel or live abroad annually, having a retirement plan will go a long way in making your dreams a reality. And if you're looking for an excellent resource to help you plan for the lifestyle you want during retirement, is a great place to start." Conducted by Angus Reid Strategies, the TD Waterhouse "Snowbird Survey" consists of 1000 online interviews completed between September 10-15, 2008 with Angus Reid Forum panelists aged 50-65 from across Canada. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About TD Bank Financial Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank (to be known together as TD Bank); and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 5.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$509 billion in assets as of July 31, 2008. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD", as well as on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Contact Information:

For further information:

Maria Leung,