canadian confidence finances

Photo: Ken Teegardin/Flickr

A poll from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and Nielsen finds that 65 per cent of Canadians are starting off 2015 feeling confident they’ll hit their financial goals, a steep drop from 76 per cent last year.

It’s the lowest level of confidence seen in the last five years of the poll, a decline made all the more dramatic given that 2014 was the highest confidence rating over the same time period.

Who’s feeling the most financial anxiety? Only 58 per cent of the Canadians aged 45 to 54 surveyed felt confident about reaching their financial goals, a significant decrease from 77 per cent last year. It’s a similar story for older Canadians: last year, 74 per cent of 55 to 64-year olds felt confident about achieving their financial goals, a number that dropped to 61 per cent in 2015.

“This decline in confidence among boomers is the most significant we’ve seen in five years,” said Christina Kramer, Executive Vice President, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. “As each year goes by and boomers increasingly focus on debt reduction as an immediate priority, they also get closer to retirement without a long term plan in place that will deliver the retirement they are looking for.”

A CIBC poll in late 2014 suggested debt ways heavily on the minds of the 45 to 54-year old demographic: 31 per cent indicated debt repayment was their top financial priority for the year ahead, a leap from 16 per cent in the 2013 poll.

The confidence levels of the younger demographic barely budged year-to-year. This year, 75 per cent of the 25 to 44-year old set indicated they were confident about their goals compared to 76 per cent last year.

Regionally, Albertans were the most confident this year, with 77 per cent of those surveyed believing they’d make their financial goals (however, 84 per cent were confident the year before). Alberta was followed by Manitoba/Saskatchewan (75 per cent) and British Columbia (72 per cent). Residents of Ontario and Atlantic Canada had the same confidence levels at 66 per cent, while Quebec respondents had the lowest levels in Canada at 50 per cent.

The poll also asked Canadians about whether they felt positive about their financial situation. Just as confidence dropped year-to-year, so did upbeat feelings. About 63 per cent of those surveyed were positive, down from 70 per cent in 2014. This too has been the lowest level in the past five years of the poll.

Not only was the 45 to 54-year old demographic the least confident about their goals, only 58 per cent of those polled said they were optimistic about the finances.

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