The national poll also indicates that retirement planning has slipped on the ‘to-do’ lists of Canadians, with just 7 per cent identifying it as a priority for 2014, down from 13 per cent in 2011. Contrary to this, paying off bills (like debt) is on Canadian’s minds, with 8 per cent of respondents identifying this as a priority this year, up steadily from 2011.
“Managing cash flow and expenses are immediate issues, but you also can't put off your retirement planning indefinitely,” added Kramer. “The good news is that if you start early you can take small steps towards building your retirement savings while also focusing on your current financial needs.”
Conversely, research out of the UK predicts that there will be a 20 per cent increase into debt enquiries between January and March – higher than any other three month period in 2013. A recent online survey by Citizen Advice found that 74 per cent of respondents said money issues were impacting their mental health, while more than half (56 per cent) said they were worried about debt affecting their relationships.
The same amount (56 per cent) said debt issues were affecting their work performance, while roughly 25 per cent attempt to take their mind of financial worries by drinking alcohol, eating and smoking. These, according to Citizen Advice, are reasons people would seek financial advice in the New Year.
"It's about breaking down the stigma and all the borders that exist, the silos so-to-speak," says Cahill. "It’s easier to ask for help before it's too late."
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