Article February 28, 2023

Canadians have a Negative Perception of their Financial Situation

According to a survey among 1,500 Canadians conducted by Leger Opinion in mid-January 2023 on behalf of the Co-operators Financial Group, more than two-thirds (66%) of Canadians have a negative view of their financial situation. The data collected in the research also shows that the majority have not planned their personal finances.

The Canada-wide survey also showed that inflation continues at very high levels since the beginning of 2023, affordability challenges persist for almost half of Canadians (45%), who are concerned that their income will not be enough to cover their basic expenses this year. All of this led the Co-operators President and CEO Rob Wesseling to say, "The current economic climate continues to put significant financial pressure on the middle class.

The Leger Opinion survey found that financial planning is a key ingredient in alleviating Canadians' financial concerns. Among those who do not have a plan, one third (33%) say they would feel better about their financial situation if they had one. Of those who work with a Financial Advisor, a majority agree that their advisor helps them feel confident about their financial decisions (58%) and worry less about their financial situation (56%). "With so many Canadians worrying about making ends meet and so few leveraging a financial plan to guide them, it's clear that credible financial advice and education are needed now more than ever, to empower Canadians with the solutions and support they need to navigate today's affordability challenges," said Mr. Wesseling.

The survey also found that, those who do work with a Financial Advisor, when compared to those who do not, are:

  • 42% more likely to say they can cover basic expenses and set money aside for savings.
  • Twice as likely to feel their investment habits are setting them up for future financial success.
  • Twice as likely to feel positive about their current financial situation in general.

"The survey results are unequivocal: financial advice is a critical tool that's proven to help Canadians feel more confident about their financial futures," said Jessica Baker, Vice President of Co-operators Advisor Network. "Many people feel they don't know how to save or believe they can't put money aside – an acute feeling growing, especially during tough economic times. The good news is, there are ways to cover basic expenses today while putting a little away for tomorrow."

For those unsure where to start, Baker offers the following tips to Canadians:

  1. Reach out to an advisor.
    Speaking to a licensed Financial Advisor is the first step to feeling better about your finances. A Financial Advisor, or Financial Planner, can help you build a plan that considers your budget and needs.
  2. Set your savings and investing goals.
    Saving and investing can start with any amount of money. Whether it's your first home, an emergency fund or a dream vacation, having tangible goals can help you create a financial plan that works for you.
  3. Leverage an RRSP or TFSA.
    Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) and Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) do more than help Canadians save for retirement. No matter when you start, money contributed to an RRSP or TFSA can help you pay less income tax, enjoy tax-deferred investment growth and benefit from compound interest.