Financial problems hitting younger Canadians

Nearly half of Canadians between the ages of 25 and 34 say they’re dealing with financial problems because of their own debt and a low chance of receiving a substantial inheritance from their parents.

According to a survey this month by Manulife Financial, 46 percent of Canadians aged 25-34 say they feel they’ve lost control of their finances and are worse off than two years ago. And it doesn’t get much better when you get older: 40 percent of Canadians aged 35-44 say they’re also having more financial issues than before.

Not only are younger Canadians worried about falling behind financially, but 43 percent of Canadians admit they haven’t thought about what money and assets they’ll leave to their children – and among those who have thought about it, 13 percent say they’ll leave nothing.

“The reality is that young Canadians will be the first generation to not be better off than their parents,” says Paul Lorentz, a Manulife vice president. “Young Canadians might need some of the financial discipline of their great grandparents, those who lived through the Depression, coupled with modern financial solutions.”

These results are not surprising given the current economic climate, says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

“The job market and what people can earn financially isn’t what it used to be,” Schwartz says. “You can no longer graduate high school and find a job that will pay you $30 an hour for the next 30 to 40 years. Now you have to go to college or university to land a decent job, and even then you may earn less than anticipated. These low earnings, coupled with student loans and credit card bills are resulting in more and more debt for younger Canadians.”

Whatever situation young Canadians are in, they can find help in budgeting and debt counselling from Consolidated Credit. The Personal Finance section of our website also includes interactive calculators and resources on everyday money management.

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