How Are Seniors In Canada Doing Financially These Days

2014-12-02

 While the economy seems to be doing better in most of Canada these days, one demographic may be struggling more than others – and that’s our seniors. Statistics provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy of Canada indicate that of all consumer insolvency filings in Canada, one of the largest increases was amongst seniors. The percentage of filings by those aged 60+ is growing. In 2008, 12% of all consumer insolvencies were filed by seniors aged 60 and over; by 2013, that number had grown to 16%. Now part of that could be attributed to the fact people are living longer or that baby boomers are starting to reach that age. But if either one of those is the case, it appears our seniors are entering their retirement years with unmanageable levels of debt. The 2013-14 Current State of Canadian Family Finances published by the Vanier Institute of the Family in June 2014 showed that the largest increase in Canadians reporting any kind of debt was in the 55-64 and in the seniors 65+ age groups.  In 1999, 60.9% of those aged 55-64 held some kind of debt; by 2012, that increased to 70.2%. For those aged 65+, it jumped from 27.4% to 42.5% during that same timeframe.  That same report shows that 14% of Seniors aged 65+ carry a line of credit, with an average value of $48,500, an increase from $20,900 in 1999 (in constant 2012 dollars). Their study states that “seniors were 17 times more likely to become insolvent in 2010 than they were in 1990.”   I hope that isn’t the case. That’s a scary way to start when entering retirement. But if debt is a struggle for you or for one of your loved ones, I strongly recommend you talk to one of our qualified counsellors or government Licensed Trustees about the debt relief options available for seniors. For more information on seniors debt and how we can help, call one of our advisors at 310.DEBT(3328) orlocate an office in your area. ​