Canadians are ignoring prospect of a rainy day, says Edward Jones advisor

New study shows that unexpected events like sudden illness would leave many people in a financial hole

Canadians are ignoring prospect of a rainy day, says Edward Jones advisor
According to investment firm Edward Jones, the vast majority of Canadians are totally unprepared for unforeseen events such as sudden illness, which could leave them in dire financial straits down the line.

A new study released by the firm shows that many people are neither saving for a rainy day or seeking insurance to protect themselves and their families.

The data revealed that almost half (48%) of respondents thought they did not have enough money to cover unexpected, or even expected, expenses should a serious illness prohibit them from working.

Sudden death is another risk being neglected, with 23% saying they are not at all prepared financially if they pass away too soon, with only 16% having purchased a life insurance policy that would cover their remaining mortgage payments should they die.

James McKeown is a senior insurance specialist with Edward Jones, and for him, the findings of the study were no surprise. In his opinion, there exists a significant information gap when it comes to life and critical illness products and what they are used for.

“Many Canadians are extremely vulnerable to personal financial crisis,” he says. “In our survey, one in two said they do not believe they have enough money to cover retirement costs or any unexpected expenses, such as a serious illness. These are people that are, by and large, living paycheque to paycheque.”

The issue, he believes, is that while a majority of people have insurance (63% according to this study), there is a lack of knowledge out there regarding products.  “A lot of people are unaware – they may have disability, health and dental insurance, and they think they are covered,” says McKeown. “What we are saying is that people really should be sitting down with a financial advisor that is insurance licensed so they can talk about these solutions.”

Different people have different budgets of course, but even those on the lower end of the earnings scale still need to protect themselves, says McKeown. There a range of products available tailored to personal circumstances, something people need to take into account when speaking with a financial advisor.

“If your budget doesn’t permit contributing to an RSP or an RESP for your kids, you should be looking at term 10 or term 20 life insurance. Once you become established, you can move that into universal or whole life.”

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