New Primerica Study Finds Income Is Falling Behind the Cost of Living for Many Canadians

May 11, 2021

A new study from Primerica Canada (NYSE: PRI) finds 75% of middle-income Canadians feel their income is falling behind cost of living, and 71% do not believe they are saving enough to retire comfortably. In spite of this, nearly half of all families feel positively about the condition of their personal finances.

“I am amazed by the resiliency of Canadians in the face of some tough economic conditions,” said John A. Adams, CEO of Primerica Canada. “Our study finds that nearly one-in-three families improved their financial situation over the past year, and nearly half feel they will be better off a year from now than they are today. But we also see that many families are having a tough time financially. No matter the situation, Primerica’s representatives stand ready to help people with the education and resources they need to help them build a more secure financial future.”

Key Findings from Primerica Canada’s Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor

  • Canadians feel they’re doing better financially than their neighbors. 48% rate their personal finances positively (either “excellent” or “good”), but only 30% rate the economic health of their community positively.
  • Young people in Canada experienced the greatest financial improvement over the past year. 40% of 18-34-year-olds report being financially better off than the previous year. Just 29% of those ages 35-49, 32% of those ages 50-64, and 28% of those ages 65+ say they’re better off.
  • Canadian families are living on a financial cliff. 42% of families can’t afford an emergency payment of $1,000 or more. 36% report having only a month or less in financial reserves, so their families would immediately struggle if a primary breadwinner lost their job or passed away.
  • Many Canadian families are saving for the future and protecting what they have, but they could do more. 69% have a savings account and 19% have investments in non-retirement accounts. Additionally, only 34% have a life insurance policy provided through work, and just 33% have a policy purchased outside of work.
  • Saving for retirement is a chief worry among middle-income Canadians. 34% say saving for retirement is their greatest worry, followed by making rent or mortgage payments (29%) and the state of their current finances (28%). Despite the worries about retirement savings, most Canadians do have access to retirement accounts.
  • Many Canadian families have taken steps towards financial security over the past year. 26% have added to a savings account, 20% sought advice from financial professionals, 19% created or followed a budget, and 18% added to an investment account.

Primerica’s full study of middle-income Canadians is available here:

About Primerica Canada’s Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor
Polling was conducted online from January 16-18, 2021. Using Dynamic Online Sampling, Change Research polled 837 adults nationwide in Canada with incomes in 2020 between $30,000 and $100,000. Post-stratification weights were made on gender, age, and province/territory region to reflect the population of these adults based on the 2016 Canadian Census. Interviewing was done in both English and French. The margin of error is 4.4%.