Seniors potentially care more about wealth than later-life income

By Staff | August 13, 2018 | Last updated on August 13, 2018
2 min read

Money may not buy happiness, but a lack of it can affect people’s quality of life‚ÄĒspecifically for seniors, research confirms.

In a recently published report, StatsCan uses the 2016 general social survey on Canadians at work and home to assess seniors’ life satisfaction. It finds that family income (adjusted for household size) isn’t significantly associated with life satisfaction among seniors. Overall family savings or wealth does matter, however, since later-life consumption is mostly financed out of accumulated savings, suggests StatsCan.

The finding stands in contrast to the result found for the entire adult population: existing studies based on those aged 15 and over have found life satisfaction is positively associated with family income.


Factors other than income that have a more significant impact on seniors’ life satisfaction include health, age, marital status, residence location, religious beliefs and time with family.

Still, a lack of income can negatively affect seniors.

The study highlights that seniors who say their retirement incomes are insufficient have lower levels of life satisfaction. Similarly, seniors who report financial stress also report lower levels of life satisfaction than those who report no stressors.

For example, there is a positive association between life satisfaction and income self-sufficiency for seniors, or whether income is enough to cover monthly expenses, StatsCan says. This is potential support for the importance of helping clients manage cash flow and take control of their finances to accumulate wealth early on.

For more details, read the full StatsCan report.

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Advice for an active senior facing longevity risk staff


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