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

‘Corona Busters’: Vernon man drives vintage ambulance in appreciation of health-care workers

Rob Newport says he aims to make people smile during the COVID-19 pandemic with Ghostbusters-themed ride

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Cookie monsters rejoice as B.C. stores sell Girl Guide sweets

With door-to-door sales cancelled, a few big chains have stepped up to distribute

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen cancels April 2 meeting

Staff working to install videoconferencing system during COVID-19 pandemic

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read