As the first wave of Canada’s baby boomer generation turn 65 years old in 2011, they’re recognizing the value of having a financial plan, according to the 21st Annual RBC RRSP Poll.

The survey of more than 4,600 adults, conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that 42% of baby boomers have a formal written financial plan, compared to 19% of the country’s general adult population.

Two-thirds of 64-year-old boomers first developed their financial plan at an average age of 35, once they began accumulating assets and started saving. And nearly three quarters of those with financial plans say that they are better off financially as a result of those plans.

“As a significant portion of Canada’s population nears age 65 and the reality of retirement looms closer than ever, it’s interesting to note that many have a written financial plan,” said Lee Anne Davies, head of retirement strategies at RBC. “We know a financial plan can provide you with direction and the confidence in knowing your options and how you are going to achieve your goals even if life throws you a curve ball.”

The survey showed that almost a quarter of boomers are concerned about having enough savings in retirement.

Their ideal retirement includes good health, living life the way they envisioned and having saved enough money for a comfortable retirement. Two-thirds of boomers agree that the best gift they could receive is good health.

“It’s not surprising that health is on the minds of boomers and that’s why we are focusing more on how health and wealth are intertwined – we know how critical both are to a successful and happy retirement,” said Davies.

Mutual funds remain top RRSP investment choice

The RRSP Poll also revealed that Canadians are embracing equity investments this year more so than last year. Mutual funds are still the top planned RRSP investment choice, cited by 42% of respondents, but 19% plan to invest in stocks, up from 12% last year.

More Canadians have an RRSP this year, but many are waiting to contribute until the last minute. The poll showed that 61% of adults have an RRSP, up from 54% last year, but 30% of those planning to make a one-time RRSP contribution expect to do so in the month of February.

Only one-in-three RRSP investors make regular contributions through a plan.

A quarter of Canadians with RRSPs plan to maximize their contribution for the 2010 tax year, and one-third who are contributing plan to contribute more than they did last year.