Survey Reveals Financial Education Gaps Among Canadian Middle-Income Families

A recent survey found 68% of Canadian middle-income families feel unprepared to manage their finances due to inadequate financial education. The survey highlights significant gaps in financial education and access to affordable financial advice, particularly amid growing inflation.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Survey Reveals Financial Education Gaps Among Canadian Middle-Income Families

Survey Reveals Financial Education Gaps Among Canadian Middle-Income Families

A recent survey, a leading provider of financial services and products to middle-income families in North America, has found that a significant majority (68%) of Canadian middle-income families feel unprepared to manage their finances due to inadequate financial education. The Primerica Financial Security Monitor survey, which polled 833 adults nationwide in Canada from April 10-17, 2024, highlights significant concerns about Canadians' financial literacy and economic outlook, particularly amid growing inflation.

Why this matters: The lack of financial education among Canadian middle-income families can have long-term consequences on their financial stability and security, potentially leading to increased debt and decreased savings rates. Moreover, it can also impact the overall economic health of the country, as financially literate citizens are more likely to make informed decisions that benefit the economy.

The survey reveals substantial gaps in the financial education provided by schools, with 85% of respondents reporting that schools did not properly teach them about the impact of taxes on their finances, 81% about taking out and paying back loans, 78% about planning for student loans, and 77% about setting a household budget. These findings underscore the need for improved financial education to equip middle-income families with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate their financial futures.

Access to financial professionals is another key issue highlighted by the survey. While 72% of Canadians believe that access to a financial professional should be universal, only 38% think they can afford one. "At a time when many Canadians feel uncertain about inflation and their financial futures, our survey highlights significant gaps in financial education and preparedness, as well as the misconception that financial advice is too costly for middle-income families," said John Adams, CEO of Primerica Canada.

The survey also sheds light on broader attitudes towards financial uncertainty and local economic conditions. While 65% of respondents feel good about their personal finances, 75% rate the economic health of their province as poor. Inflation and physical health are major concerns for 61% of respondents, while 39% are worried about paying for food and 36% about retirement savings. "Middle-income Canadians who feel left behind when it comes to financial education and guidance are increasingly turning to life insurance companies and the individuals that represent them for advice," noted Gary Edwards, Ph.D., co-founder and research lead of Golfdale Consulting.

Primerica, the second-largest issuer of term life insurance coverage in North America, aims to enhance its shareholders' value while becoming a successful senior health business. The company expects Term Life insurance issued policy growth in the range of 4-6% in 2023 but noted that inflationary pressure is likely to weigh on the upside despite the potential for new rate classes through new products to accelerate growth.

The Primerica Financial Security Monitor survey underscores the urgent need for improved financial education and access to affordable financial advice for Canadian middle-income families. As inflation and economic uncertainty persist, equipping individuals with the knowledge and resources to make informed financial decisions will be crucial in fostering financial security and resilience.

Key Takeaways

  • 68% of Canadian middle-income families feel unprepared to manage finances due to inadequate education.
  • Lack of financial education can lead to increased debt, decreased savings, and negative economic impact.
  • 85% of respondents report schools didn't teach them about taxes, loans, and budgeting.
  • 72% of Canadians believe access to financial professionals should be universal, but only 38% think they can afford it.
  • Inflation and financial uncertainty are major concerns for 61% of respondents, with 39% worried about paying for food.