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

Big Bar Landslide saw long awaited blasting this week

Pressure has been on senior governments working with First Nations to remove blockage for months

COLUMN: Trying to look forward while looking back

Reader suggests re-running a 2015 Times column after recent racism towards Indigenous people

Two prolific offenders from Alberta lead RCMP on chase across Fraser Valley

Men first reported in Chilliwack ending with allegedly stolen vehicle in an Abbotsford pond

Chilliwack physiotherapist charged with sexual assault

Mounties urging other potential victims to make contact

Former employee of Chilliwack senior care home calls working there ‘a horror show’

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Brand new Tesla crashes into Surrey store front, mounts gas line

Driver was heading to the Autoplan store, straight off the lot

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Mugging with airsoft gun results in Langley school lockdown

Police found the weapon and a stolen phone later

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Most Read