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Better off in 2013?

According to a new survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Sun Life Financial’s Annual Check-Up Survey, most Canadians don’t believe that 2013 has brought better times for their pocketbooks in comparison to 2012.

A majority (57%) of Canadians indicate that they are not better off financially than they were a year ago, which is significantly higher than the two in five (38%) who believe they’re better off now than in 2012 and the 5% who aren’t sure.

The data also reveal several key demographic differences when it comes to Canadians and assessment of their personal financial situation over the last year:

  • Women (61%) are more likely than men (53%) to say they’re not better off financially in 2013
  • Canadian seniors (61%, ages 55+) are most likely to believe that 2013 has been worse for them financially than last year, compared to middle-aged (58%, ages 35-54) and younger (50%, ages 18-34) Canadians
  • Quebecers (63%) are most likely to indicate that they are feeling worse off financially compared to last year, compared to Albertans (47%), residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (45%), and Atlantic Canadians (43%) who are most likely to believe that they’re off now than last year
  • Those who indicate that they’re better off financially this year are significantly more likely to have paid down household debt in 2013 (65% vs. 39% not better off/don’t know)

Most Not Contributing to RRSP

With most Canadians revealing a less than optimistic outlook over the year past when it comes to their finances, a majority don’t appear to be making contributions to important investments, notably their RRSP.

Just over one in three (36%) Canadians indicate making some form of contribution to their RRSP, with one in five (18%) making regular monthly contributions in advance of the RRSP deadline and one in ten (12%) making one lump sum before the deadline, with 6% of Canadians doing both. A majority (58%) of Canadians make neither type of contribution, while one in ten (7%) don’t know if they make one.

  • Atlantic Canadians (67%) are least likely to make any contributions to their RRSP, slightly ahead of British Columbians (64%) and noticeably ahead of Quebecers (59%), Ontarians (56%), residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (51%), and Albertans (48%)
  • Half (50%) of Canadians identifying as having head a better year financially in 2013 than 2012 contribute to their RRSPs, nearly twice as likely as those who say they’re not better off or don’t know (27%)

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