Concerned mature couple looking at their finances together

According to the CPA Canada 2018 Canadian Finance Study, Canadians have a mixed outlook of their personal finances, with 41 per cent believing their financial situation will get better over the next 12 months, while 11 per cent are pessimistic about their finances. (Getty Images/Geber86)

Canada | News

Studies reveal Canadians’ main financial concerns, how they feel about household debt

Two reports provide deeper insight into how we are managing our money and preparing for retirement and whether a housing market crash is imminent

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CPA Canada 2018 Canadian Finance Study released

With the country celebrating Financial Literacy Month in November, the results of the CPA Canada 2018 Canadian Finance Study come at an opportune time.

Released on November 1, the research shows Canadians have a mixed outlook of their personal finances, with 41 per cent believing their financial situation will get better over the next 12 months, while 11 per cent are pessimistic about their finances. Forty-five per cent think little will change and a mere three per cent have no idea what the future will bring. 

Another key takeaway: 42 per cent of respondents plan to work beyond 65 years of age with the largest segment of that group reporting that they can’t afford to retire. In addition, the top personal financial concerns participants cited were saving for retirement (20 per cent) or managing debt (17 per cent). 

“This highlights the importance of financial literacy education, in particular around retirement saving and debt management,” said Doretta Thompson, director, corporate citizenship, CPA Canada.

The CPA Canada 2018 Canadian Finance Study was conducted by Nielsen via an online questionnaire answered by 2,042 Canadian adults. For more background on the study, visit cpacanada.ca/canadianfinancestudy2018

CPA Canada household debt study reveals surprising insights

Skyrocketing home prices and, in some markets, steep household debt in Canada may point towards a U.S.-style housing crash, but the situation is not as dire, suggests CPA Canada’s study: The Real Story Behind Housing and Household Debt in Canada: Is There Really a Risk?

“Beyond prices and debt levels, Canada shares far fewer similarities with the U.S. than you might think. This becomes very apparent when you look at just one measure; credit quality,” explains Francis Fong, CPA Canada’s Chief Economist and author of the study.

Other key factors that differentiate the Canadian market from its neighbour to the south include the concentration of mortgage activity amongst fewer lenders and how these financial institutions use mortgage securitization. 

While Canada is not without risk, maintaining a high level of credit quality is considered critical to sustaining the housing market and economy at large, says the report. For further insight, visit cpacanada.ca/householddebt.