Two in five indebted Canadians don’t ever expect to escape debt, says survey

Baby boomers appear to be in better financial shape than their younger generation X and millennial counterparts

Two in five indebted Canadians don’t expect to escape debt in their lifetimes, says a new survey.

The Manulife Bank of Canada debt survey released Friday also found that 94 per cent of respondents agree that the average household has too much debt while 67 per cent of those in debt assume everyone else is as well.

The spending-to-income ratio is trending negatively as 45 per cent of Canadians said their spending is increasing faster than their income. That’s up from 33 per cent who said so in the spring. Just 12 per cent of respondents noted that their income is growing faster than their spending.

“There is a financial wellness crisis, and it’s affecting Canadians of all demographics,” said Rick Lunny, president and CEO of Manulife Bank.

More than half (55 per cent) of Canadians reported considerable non-mortgage debt, up nine percentage points from a spring survey. Sixty per cent say they have credit cards carrying a balance, up from 48 per cent in the spring.

The online survey was conducted amid growing concerns about the country’s high level of consumer indebtedness as total debt per consumer surged to $71,979 in the second quarter, up from about $57,000 five years earlier, according to credit monitoring service Equifax.

Baby boomers appear to be in better financial shape than their younger generation X and millennial counterparts.

ALSO READ: Zombie debt will haunt more Canadians as scourge of indebtedness rises, experts say

Sixty per cent of baby boomers surveyed said they are better off financially than their parents were at the same age, compared with just under half (49 per cent) for generation X and millennials.

Generation X, which believes it has the most debt, saves the least of its after-tax income and is most likely to report that spending is outpacing income. It is also the most skeptical about ever being debt-free in its lifetime, according to the survey.

Millennials are also struggling but are more likely to indicate that their income is increasing faster than spending. Technology is also helping them more than for older cohorts who said it has helped them to manage their debts, compared with just one in three generation X and baby boomers.

The online poll, conducted Sept. 20-26, surveyed 2,001 Canadians in all provinces aged 20 to 69 with household income of more than $40,000. Internet-based surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered random samples.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Port Hardy Mounties help First Nation chief build smokehouse

‘We have great maya’xala for all the community members, in each of the communities…’

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Access to remote Side Bay beach up in the bureaucratic air

Roads to the pristine north west coast Vancouver Island beach at risk of being deactivated

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Most Read