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This article was published 6/9/2017 (1146 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitobans are in slightly better financial shape than a year ago, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement, a new national survey shows.
The Canadian Payroll Association’s ninth annual survey of employed Canadians, released today, shows Manitobans have made some headway in the past year in a number of key areas.
For example, a slightly smaller percentage of them are living from paycheque to paycheque — 53 per cent compared to 54 per cent in 2016. Fewer of them also have increased their debt load in the past year (34 per cent versus 39 per cent), fewer said they feel overwhelmed by their debt (40 per cent versus 47 per cent), and fewer said they would be unable to come up with $2,000 within a month if an emergency were to arise (25 per cent versus 32 per cent).
On the downside, 69 per cent of the Manitoba respondents said they’ve saved only a quarter or less of what they they’ll need to retire, including 47 per cent of those who are already 50 years of age or older. Forty-five per cent also said they’ll need to save at least a million dollars before they can retire.
"With so many living paycheque to paycheque in Manitoba, these results underscore the need for spending less and saving more every day, for emergencies and for retirement," said Janice MacLellan, CPA vice-president of operations. "They also show that it is very difficult for people to change or reduce their spending patterns."
MacLellan added, "By paying yourself first through automatic payroll deductions, you are diverting money into a retirement or savings account before you have the opportunity to think about spending it."
CPA chairman Frank Lilley said while it’s encouraging to see more Manitobans are taking steps to improve their financial health, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. He noted that in most key categories, the Manitoba numbers are still worse than the national average.
He agreed having savings automatically deducted from your paycheque is one of the least painful ways to save.
"We certainly encourage people to save at 10 per cent of their take-home pay," he added.
The CPA survey also found Manitobans are among the most pessimistic in Canada about the prospects for their local economy, with only 25 thinking it will improve.
Lilley said it’s difficult to know why Manitobans feel that way. One possible explanation is that the Manitoba economy is one of Canada’s steadiest performers, and has been doing pretty well lately.
If they think it’s already doing pretty well, they may not think there’s much room for improvement, he said.
The CPA survey is one of two new reports dealing with the financial health of Canadians and Manitobans.
In its 2017 second-quarter national Consumer Credit Trends report, Equifax Canada said Manitobans still boast the lowest average debt loads (excluding mortgages) in Canada, at $18,536.
Their debt loads are also growing at one of the slowest rates (1.9 per cent), and their debt-delinquency rate is fourth lowest among the provinces at 1.28 per cent, the company said.
Equifax said Ontario consumers are adding to their debt faster than any other province, but delinquency rates are moving in the right direction in every province.
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