December 08, 2016

Financial health issues distracting Canadians at work

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Sun Life survey finds financial-related challenges cause the most significant stress

TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Financial stress has a serious impact on Canadians' work life. According to the 2016 Sun Life Financial Canadian Health Index, almost one-third (29 per cent) of Canadians are distracted at work as a result of their financial situation.

Three of the four top drivers of uncomfortable levels of stress for Canadians are all related to financial challenges:

  • 45 per cent worry about personal/household finances;
  • 32 per cent worry about trying to maintain a budget; and
  • 31 per cent worry about unexpected expenses.

 

One-third of Canadians also report feeling insecure about their overall financial health. When asked what the largest barriers to improving their situation were, respondents said:

  • Current income (48 per cent);
  • Current debt level - mortgage and credit cards (25 per cent); and
  • Current employment situation - contract and temporary work (24 per cent).

 

"Financial health is an important component of our overall health and wellness because it has a direct impact on our day-to-day lives, at work and at home," explains Kevin Dougherty, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. "Canadians are balancing competing priorities when it comes to their finances, especially as we head into the holidays. While it's important to understand how to budget, plan for retirement, manage debt and be prepared for the unexpected, it's not always easy to do this on your own. Working with a financial advisor can help build a lifetime of financial security and well-being."   

Getting on the path to financial security can seem intimidating. The below tips can help Canadians on their journey:

  • If your employer offers a workplace pension plan with a matching component, contribute the maximum amount possible;
  • If you don't have access to a workplace pension plan, you can work with a financial advisor to create a retirement savings plan through annuities or segregated funds;
  • Start saving and investing as early in life as possible to set yourself up for success in all your financial needs. RRSPs and TFSAs are great vehicles to consider first.
  • Having a financial plan in place can help outline where you are, where you want to be and how to get there. A plan can also help reduce uncertainties, especially during times of economic volatility.
  • Setting a realistic and attainable budget can help you pay down debt and save for the short-term and long-term.

 

"Employers have a role to play in supporting their employees' financial health," Mr. Dougherty explains. "Offering workplace savings plans, access to a qualified financial advisor and encouraging participation in financial education programs can help reduce stress in the workplace. This access and opportunity to save can help build a healthier and more engaged organization."

For more key findings and results on the 2016 Sun Life Canadian Health Index, visit www.sunlife.ca/CanadianHealthIndex. For more information on healthy living and financial planning, visit Learn and Plan.

About the Sun Life Canadian Health Index survey

The Sun Life Canadian Health Index measures the attitudes of Canadians towards healthy lifestyles and reports these in the form of an index.

The seventh annual Sun Life Canadian Health Index is based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between September 19 and September 30, 2016. A sample of 2,402 Canadians from 18 to 80 years of age was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel.

Ipsos employed weighting to balance demographics and ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.

The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to within +/-2.0% at 95% confidence level had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.

For more key findings and results on the 2016 Sun Life Canadian Health Index, visit www.sunlife.ca/CanadianHealthIndex.

About Sun Life Financial
 

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2016, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $908 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.

For further information

Yasna Criscione                                             
Sun Life Financial                                           
416-204-8110                                                  
yasna.criscione@sunlife.com                            

Kim Armstrong
Sun Life Financial
416-979-6207
kim.armstrong@sunlife.com

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada

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Image with caption: "Three of the four top drivers of uncomfortable levels of stress for Canadians are related to financial challenges. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161208_C3829_PHOTO_EN_833767.jpg

Image with caption: "When asked what the largest barriers to improving their situation were, respondents said... (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161208_C3829_PHOTO_EN_833769.jpg

Image with caption: "Almost one-third of Canadians are distracted at work as a result of their financial situation. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161208_C3829_PHOTO_EN_833771.jpg

Image with caption: "One-third of Canadians report feeling insecure about their overall financial health. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161208_C3829_PHOTO_EN_833773.jpg