Most Canadians say building wealth isn’t important to them

Most Canadians say building wealth isn’t important to them

Most Canadians say building wealth isn’t important to them

Building wealth is not a goal for many Canadians according to a new survey.

The Angus Reid Institute poll found that 51% of respondents said it wasn’t important to them to build wealth and have lots of money.

But interestingly, this view changes with age. While 56% of those aged 18-34 were ambivalent about wealth generation, the share drops to 54% among 35-54 year olds, and to 45% of over 55s.

There is also a gender split with 61% of younger men (18-34) saying that wealth-building isn’t important to them, while an even share (49%) of younger women agree and disagree with this.

Debts are delaying key events
With Canadian households owing $1.78 for each dollar of disposable income, household debt is never far from the minds of policymakers or consumers.

The poll found that 4 in 10 Canadians are being put under considerable financial stress by their debts, while three quarters of respondents say they have debt; 24% are debt free.

Although some debt is frequently necessary – a mortgage for example, 89% of respondents agree that going into debt when you don’t have to is “stupid”.

Carrying debt has forced a third of respondents to delay saving for retirement; 8% have delayed getting married, 7% have delayed having children, and 5% have delayed moving out of their parents’ home (5%).

On a positive note, most of those with debt are managing.

Despite owing an average $1.78 for each disposable dollar, just 16% say their debts are difficult to manage while 39% says it’s manageable but significant. 22% said their debt is easy to manage and 24% have no debt.

Stressed about money
Just 32% of respondents to the poll, conducted in association with the Globe and Mail, said that they are never really stressed about money including 28% of adults under 34, 25% of 35-54 year olds, and 42% of over 55s.

More than half are concerned about finding or keeping a good job with younger respondents more likely to say so.

Credit card debt is carried by 59% of respondents, with 39% having mortgages, 36% having other loans or lines of credit, 31% car loans, and 16% student loans.

What assets do most people hold?

The survey asked about the investments and other financial products held by respondents and discovered that:

  • 67% have a chequing account;
  • 60% have a savings account;
  • 55% have a retirement savings plan (RRSP/employer plan);
  • 54% have a tax free savings account (TFSA);
  • 42% have home equity;
  • 22% have a brokerage or other investment account;
  • 16% have GICs;
  • 14% have a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • 5% have government savings bonds;
  • 6% have something else
  • 2% have none of these

Most millennials have less than $25,000 saved (42%) with 9% having $25-50K, 9% having $50-100K, 6% $100-150K, 2% $150-200K, and 3% having more than $200K.


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