Canadians Struggling to Keep Money in the Bank

Money. We want it, need it, love it and sometimes hate it. Regardless of how we feel about it, the reality is that money does make our worlds go round. Having enough in the bank gives us shelter, comfort, peace of mind and the ability to treat ourselves every so often. Sadly, according to the 2017 Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) survey, many of us are struggling to keep our pockets lined.

Results from the survey indicated that 47% of working Canadians felt that “it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations” if their paycheque was delayed by a single week. That number rose to 51% among those in their 40s, otherwise known as Generation X respondents.

Meanwhile, 41% of Canadian workers admitted to parting with “all of or more than” their net pay, due to increased spending and higher living costs. Thus, this makes saving money a challenge. For instance, 42% of respondents said they save 5% or less of their earnings. The CPA said that financial planning experts “generally” recommend putting aside 10% for the future.

Of course, debt also remains a monster issue. CPA noted that 94% of those surveyed carry debt. Mortgages (28%) prove to be the biggest reason for that, followed by car loans (18%), credit cards (17%) and lines of credit (17%).

“Results indicate that the primary reason for increased debt is higher overall spending,” reads a press release issued by the CPA. “The major reasons for increased spending are higher living expenses (32%) and unexpected expenses (25%). Despite their precarious financial situation, 26% of working Canadians feel that earning more is the best way to financial well-being, versus just 19% who think spending less is the ticket to financial security.”

When the words “financial security” come about, you can’t help but then think about retirement. The CPA explained that 46% of the working Canadians it surveyed expect they’ll have to work longer than they had planned five years ago, primarily because of not putting enough money aside.

What’s truly daunting is how financially far away some people are from retirement. Seventy-four percent said they only have about a quarter of the money they think they’ll need for retirement. Even scarier is that 47% of those aged 50+ have banked less than a quarter of what they’d like to have for retirement.

-Adam Grant

On a recent edition of “theZoomer,” our panel examined the best ways to get the most fulfillment, satisfaction and purpose out of life after 65. You can watch that episode below.