31% of Canadians can’t cover the basics: BDO Canada

By Staff | October 12, 2018 | Last updated on October 12, 2018
1 min read
Emotional Stress, Bankruptcy, Finance
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Three in 10 (31%) Canadians don’t have enough money to cover their basic needs, a BDO Canada report says, leading them to fill the breach with debt. More than half of those surveyed (52%) have just enough to cover their living costs.

The majority of those surveyed (74%) have debt, most commonly in the form of credit cards and mortgages. Among those with debt, the average non-mortgage debt load is $19,977.

Compared with the average indebted Canadian, heavier debt is most common among women (52%), millennials (49%) and gen Xers (57%), the report says.

Lack of retirement savings

Of those surveyed, 65% said they have little or no retirement savings. Among indebted Canadians, that proportion rises to 70%, and among millennials, it’s 47%.

Among those who haven’t retired yet, 75% of those surveyed said they will need to work longer than their parents did before they can retire.

Other highlights of the study include:

  • 43% of women find it challenging to afford transportation costs;
  • 33% of millennials and 29% of gen Xers struggle to feed their families; and
  • 42% of Canadians with children find it difficult to cover utilities.

Read the report here.


These are some of the findings of an online Ipsos poll of 2,000 adult Canadians conducted between July 3 and July 6, 2018, on behalf of BDO Canada Limited. The poll is accurate to within ±2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.