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Three Quarters of Canadian Boomers and Retirees are Volunteering, According to BMO Survey

National Volunteer Week runs from April 23 to April 29, a week set aside in April each year to honour and recognize Canadians who donate time and energy to their fellow citizens. According to Volunteer Canada, the Canadian voluntary and nonprofit sector is made up of more than 161,000 organizations, 6.5 million volunteers and 2 million paid staff.

Who makes up a large number of these volunteers?

According to The BMO Retirement Trends Study*, Canadian boomers and retirees are vital participants in the volunteering community.  The study revealed:

         Volunteering is prevalent among this group: 76 per cent of Canadians 45 and older spend time on non-profit community work or charitable work

         Women are more likely to volunteer than men:  80 per cent of women respondents spend time on non-profit community work or charitable work compared with 75 per cent of men

         Albertans are the most likely to volunteer: With 83 per cent of those 45 and older volunteering, Alberta boasts the highest level of volunteerism

o        Atlantic Canada: 82 per cent

o        Manitoba / Saskatchewan: 80 per cent

o        Ontario: 75 per cent

o        BC and Quebec: 74 per cent

BMO Financial Group spokespeople are available this week to discuss why so many boomers and retirees are volunteering and how volunteering fits into their new definition of “retirement”.

Also available for media interviews on Friday is BMO Community Hero and retiree Doreen Lebrash.  At age 74, Doreen was recognized as a BMO Community Hero on January 6, 2006 for her generous work in the Newmarket and Aurora communities, where she volunteers at a retirement home, a school and a healthcare facility.   

*The BMO Retirement Trends Study is the most comprehensive survey on Canadian retirement compiled to date, with a randomly selected sample of 5,325 financial decision-makers age 45 or over with at least $25,000 in financial assets completing an online survey. The survey was conducted from October 21 to October 27, 2005 for BMO by Ipsos Reid.

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