Canadians’ Concerns About Outliving Finances

Below are the recently measured levels of concern among Canadians investors regarding the possibility of outliving their finances.  To frame this analysis, we look first at Canadians’ investable assets and then at age groups.  These two factors show immediately that there is considerable variance in the levels of concern that investors have about the possibility of outliving their finances; they help give context to the current degree of concern.

Exhibit 1. The measured level of concern about the possibility of outliving one’s finances relative to an individual’s level of investable assets.

Not too surprisingly, there is a strong relationship between an individual’s level of wealth and their level of concern about the possibility of outliving their finances.  Our scale runs from zero (which represents strong disagreement with the statement, “I’m afraid I might out-live my finances” or low concern) to ten (which represents strong agreement with this statement, or high concern.)  Investors who have amassed at least $1 million have concerns about outliving their finances that sits at 3.09 on this scale; we would say that they are not very concerned. Investors who have less than $500k have a significantly higher level of concern about outliving their finances with a score of 4.83.

There should be some consolation in the fact that these concerns diminish as people age.  The graphic below shows clearly that these concerns are held most strongly by people between the ages of 35 and 54, at a point in their lives where they are still capable of accumulation.  After this age level concern diminishes significantly.  By the time people have reached 65 years of age the concern that they might outlive their finances is at its lowest.

Exhibit 2. The measured level of concern about the possibility of outliving one’s finances relative to investor age groups.

Still, with so many middle aged Canadians scoring in the 5.0 range — a point that is very clearly well above the “no concern” level — Credo remains convinced that there is tremendous need for financial advisors to do what they do best; help investors gain an appreciation of their financial circumstances and plan for their future. Financial advisors play a critical role in the maintenance of investor confidence.

These scores are based on an ongoing survey of Canadian investors.  We call it The Financial Comfort Zone Study and it is being conducted by Credo on cooperation with TC Media.  At this point we have more than 19,000 completed questionnaires.  Call us with any questions, comments or concerns at (905) 919.1926.