Almost one-third of Canadians are distracted at work as a result of their financial situation. Three of the four top drivers of uncomfortable levels of stress for Canadians are all related to various financial challenges.
According to the 2016 Sun Life Financial Canadian Health Index, found these financial challenges:
• 45% worry about personal/household finances;
• 32% worry about trying to maintain a budget; and
• 31% worry about unexpected expenses.
One-third of Canadians also report feeling insecure about their overall financial health. When asked what the largest barriers to improving their situation were, respondents said:
• Current income (48%);
• Current debt level – mortgage and credit cards (25%); and
• Current employment situation – contract and temporary work (24%).
Getting on the path to financial security can seem intimidating. The below tips can help Canadians on their journey:
• If your employer offers a workplace pension plan with a matching component, contribute the maximum amount possible;
• If you don’t have access to a workplace pension plan, you can work with a financial advisor to create a retirement savings plan through annuities or segregated funds;
• Start saving and investing as early in life as possible to set yourself up for success in all your financial needs. RRSPs and TFSAs are great vehicles to consider first.
• Having a financial plan in place can help outline where you are, where you want to be and how to get there. A plan can also help reduce uncertainties, especially during times of economic volatility.
• Setting a realistic and attainable budget can help you pay down debt and save for the short-term and long-term.
The Sun Life Canadian Health Index measures the attitudes of Canadians towards healthy lifestyles and reports these in the form of an index.