2013 left most Canadians poorer, Sun Life survey shows

Sun Life Financial says 2013 wasn't a great year financially for most Canadians.

57 per cent said they're worse off financially at yearend

A Sun Life survey found 57 per cent of Canadians feel their finances did not improve in 2013. (CBC)

Sun Life Financial says 2013 wasn't a great year financially for most Canadians.

An Ipsos Reid survey conducted in November for Sun Life found that, overall, 57 per cent of Canadians felt they were not any better off financially than they were a year ago.

Those feelings were even stronger among women and those aged 55 and older, with 61 per cent of both groups saying their financial position had not improved year over year.

Older Canadians are more likely to be trying to live on a fixed income. This year also brought some natural disasters that ate in our wallets, including flooding that damaged homes in Ontario and Alberta.

On the flip side, 38 per cent of those surveyed did say their finances had improved compared with a year ago.

Albertans were most likely to say they felt better off, at 47 per cent, followed by those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at 45 per cent, and Atlantic Canadians at 43 per cent.

Quebecers were least likely, with 63 per cent saying their financial position was no better than a year ago.

"It's concerning that a majority of Canadians aren't feeling better off financially than they were last year as we head into a holiday season where we tend to spend more and save less," Sun Life president Kevin Dougherty said of the results.

"Canadians can take steps toward feeling better by putting a financial plan in writing and perhaps consider it as a new year's resolution."

As it is, the survey found only 36 per cent of Canadians contribute to an RRSP, although that number rose to 50 per cent among those who felt their financial situation had improved.

The Ipsos Reid survey interviewed 1,239 Canadians online between Nov. 25 and Nov. 29. 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.


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