Reading, Writing and Retirement Income?

Canadian and international polls, surveys and studies have consistently shown that many consumers – young and old, rich and poor – have real challenges with financial literacy, from reading financial statements to managing credit cards to planning for retirement.

The findings of Statistics Canada’s 2009 Canadian Financial Capability Survey confirmed this. The largest of its kind in the world, the survey gathered information about the financial habits, behaviours and attitudes of Canadians.

Some of the findings of the survey:

• Only 51% of Canadians had a budget. Those with higher levels of education were more likely to have a budget

• 31 % of Canadians were struggling to meet their bills and payments

  • Of those Canadians who were planning to purchase a home, 48% had saved less than 5% of the cost of the home
  • 52% of Canadians who were planning to purchase a home were not expecting to incur any costs other than the down payment
  • 70% of Canadians were fairly or very confident that their retirement income would provide the standard of living they hoped for, although just 40% had a good idea of how much money they needed to save in order to maintain their desired standard of living in retirement
  • Financial advisors are the most likely source (at 54%) among Canadians seeking advice on financial matters.(Source:
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