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

Shawn Decaire does a blessing ceremony for the Hama?Elas Community Kitchen in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Community Kitchen blessed by Laichwiltach First Nation

Hama?Elas Community Kitchen will provide safe place to eat for Campbell River’s vulnerable

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

North Island mayors say their voices should be heard by DFO before final decisions are made about fish farms. (Black Press file photo)
Mayors asking to be let in on fish farm consultations

DFO evaluating 18 Discovery Island fish farms and transitioning from open-net farms

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read