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59% live paycheque to paycheque: poll

Almost 60 per cent of Canadians live paycheque to paycheque and say they'd be in financial difficulty if their paycheque were a week late.

Almost 60 per cent of Canadians live paycheque to paycheque and say they'd be in financial difficulty if their paycheque were a week late.

A new survey from the Canadian Payroll Association released Monday showed some troubling signs about Canadians' personal finances.

The 59 per cent figure is the same rate as the one found in last year's survey. It is the second year that the agency has undertaken the payroll survey.

Almost half of respondents to a national survey said they are saving five per cent or less of their income. Financial planning experts generally recommend a retirement savings rate of about 10 per cent of net pay and hoard three months' worth of expenses in an emergency fund.

Although they don't appear to be having much success doing so, 60 per cent of respondents said they were trying to save more money than they used to. The remaining 40 per cent said they were not trying to save any money.

"The most significant result of Canadians continuing to live paycheque to paycheque is its impact on their concerns about personal finances and retirement," CPA chair Cindy Forget said.

Younger workers feel especially vulnerable, with 65 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 35 saying they would find it difficult to make ends meet if they missed a single paycheque.

More than two thirds (69 per cent) of respondents said it would be difficult to find comparable employment with a similar salary if they lost their job.

For the survey, the agency interviewed 2,766 Canadian employees across the country. The survey is considered to be accurate within 1.86 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

It was taken between June of 2009 and July of 2010.

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