Although many of your working clients may be worried about the pressures of being members of the “sandwich generation,” most retired clients are “living the dream,” according to the latest crop of RRSP surveys.

Royal Bank of Canada‘s (RBC) 23rd annual RRSP poll found that the main concern for clients aged 18 to 54 is to be “stuck in the middle,” their retirement-saving plans hampered by both the need to save for their children’s education and the costs of caring for aging parents.

The generational squeeze from conflicting priorities “is a consistent theme that we have seen,” says Jason Round, senior manager, financial planning support, with RBC. “One of the things that a financial advisor can do is to provide some reassurance that there is a way to structure things to strike that balance.”

RBC urges its clients to consult an advisor to review priorities, income sources and options.

As for retirees, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce‘s (CIBC) RRSP survey report has a good news/bad news spin: 69% of retirees surveyed are happy with retirement today, but 28% are worried about running out of money down the road.

The CIBC report stresses that sound financial planning is more important for retirees than ever because of low interest rates on savings and increasing longevity.

The CIBC survey found that just 62% of retirees have a plan in place to help them determine how much they can withdraw each year and how long their savings will last. Among those retirees with a plan, one-half created their plan with an advisor; the other half developed it on their own.

“The key finding,” says Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning with CIBC’s private wealth-management division, “was that almost 70% of people currently retired are living the dream. That is a very positive message for advisors: [they] are making a difference.”

Given the pressures of longevity and low interest rates, however, many retirees are vulnerable to financial shocks, the CIBC report says: 54% of retirees surveyed say a new $500 monthly payment – due to a financial emergency such as a home repair – would be unmanageable.

“I think the message now,” Golombek says, “is that advisors can work today with clients who are saving for retirement and do accurate projections or estimations of income and lifestyle.”

Bank of Nova Scotia‘s RRSP survey of adult Canadians found that 64% of respondents say they may not have the money to invest in their RRSPs this year (vs 59% in 2011), while 39% say they plan to contribute to an RRSP for the 2012 tax year.

Of those who cite lack of affordability, 70% say they do not have a written financial plan, 77% are not saving for retirement and 80% say they are not on track toward achieving their retirement goals.

The poll also found that fewer Canadians feel they have already invested enough (19% in 2012, vs 24% in 2011).

Bev Moir, senior investment advisor, retirement planning, with ScotiaMcLeod Inc., finds these shortfalls worrisome: “There may be a lack of cash flow, but [there is] a bigger lack of education and understanding about how much an individual needs and what they have to think about when they are planning their retirement.”

Bank of Montreal‘s (BMO)household savings report found that Canadians planning to save in 2013 expect to sock away an average of $9,859 in all savings vehicles, up by about $600 from 2012.

BMO also released a tax-free savings account (TFSA) vs RRSP report, which found that if given limited money to invest, 42% of Canadians would invest in a TFSA, while 37% would put it toward an RRSP. That survey also found that 67% of Canadians have an RRSP, while 39% have a TFSA.IE

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