Almost a third of Canadians unable to save

Almost a third of Canadian households report never or almost never having any money left to save after paying their bills, according to a new study issued Wednesday.

MONTREAL — Almost a third of Canadian households report never or almost never having any money left to save after paying their bills, according to a new study issued Wednesday.

Households that reported no wealth accumulation tended to be working, middle-aged people — although of varying income levels, says the study by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.

“They felt that their incomes were not keeping pace with the cost of living,” said Rock Lefebvre, co-author of the study, which surveyed more than 1,800 people.

Consumer consumption, such the use of home equity lines of credit, were among things hurting the accumulation of wealth, Lefebvre said.

“This consumption pattern that has emerged over the last decade . . . is playing havoc with people’s ability to save,” he said.

“Because of the low interest rates coupled with the behaviour of borrowing, people are possibly buying homes and cars that are a little more expensive than what they would typically be able to afford.”

Meanwhile, two-thirds of households with no wealth accumulation — meaning the value of their assets was less or about the same as the amount of their household debt — didn’t expect to get any further ahead in the next three years, the study said.

However, about 70 per cent of Canadian households reported they had accumulated some wealth.

But Lefebvre said the result may have been more of a “feeling” than an objective assessment of wealth. “They could be saving $100 or they could be saving $100,000,” said Lefebvre, vice-president of research and standards.

Lefebvre said one of the main ways for most Canadians to accumulate wealth is to pay off a mortgage as quickly as possible.

But the survey found that only 10 per cent of households had refinanced a mortgage to pay it off sooner.

Meanwhile, Canada’s household savings rate plummeted to 3.8 per cent at the end of 2012 from its peak of about 20 per cent in the early 1980s, the study said.

The wealth of an average Canadian adult was only $6,600 in 2012, or 2.7 per cent higher when compared to the wealth controlled by households at the beginning of 2008.

The report also found that only three in 10 households surveyed believed the accumulation of wealth was a very important personal goal, while half saw it only as a somewhat important pursuit.

The online survey was conducted last Sept. 14-21 by Ipsos Reid with 1,805 Canadians aged 25 and older.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

Just Posted

Big-time entertainers to perform in Red Deer during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Musicans announced include Walk Off the Earth, k-os, Brett Kissel

Builders say it’s not the time for higher permit fees in Red Deer

Construction industry is hard hit by slow economy

Bighorn Country telephone town hall for Red Deer area set for Wednesday

Residents can phone in from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to hear about the project or ask questions

YouTube revises policy, bans dangerous prank videos

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — YouTube is trying to prevent otherwise bright people… Continue reading

May’s govt faces no-confidence vote after huge Brexit defeat

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May faced a no-confidence vote Wednesday,… Continue reading

WATCH:2019 Canada Winter Games torchbearers announced

Sixteen torchbearers announced with others to be revealed during Opening Ceremonies

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Speedy acceptance of Saudi shows refugee system’s flaws

Who would not wish Rahaf Mohammed well? The 18-year-old Saudi wants to… Continue reading

Hertl’s hat trick leads Sharks past Penguins 5-2

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Tomas Hertl needed just three games to get… Continue reading

Starring role beckons for Canada’s Alphonso Davies at Bayern Munich

BERLIN — Canadian teenager Alphonso Davies could be thrown in at the… Continue reading

Bus singer gives voice to Venezuela’s growing diaspora

LIMA, Peru — A year ago, Venezuelan migrant Reymar Perdomo was singing… Continue reading

Corey Hart to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame at Juno Awards

TORONTO — Crooner Corey Hart will join Canadian music royalty in the… Continue reading

Lucic, Kassian each score twice to power Oilers in 7-2 win over Sabres

EDMONTON — Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian each scored a pair of… Continue reading

Big Valley family gives back to community

Donates $24,560 to Stettler Health Foundation and Edmonton Stollery Children’s Hospital

Most Read