2 out of 3 Canadians stressed about inflationary rise of food, fuel, and housing costs.

As inflation soars, increased cost of living tops list of financial stressors and financial preparedness takes on new importance
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TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2021 /CNW/ – A survey of Canadians to understand their biggest financial stressors and found that inflation is weighing heavily on our minds. As Canada’s inflation rate soared to an 18-year high, increased cost of living is a source of financial stress for two out of three (67%) Canadians — more than double that of any other financial stressor.

Following inflation, the top financial stressors include saving for retirement (30%), inability to absorb unforeseen expenses (25%), unpredictability of investments (25%), inability to save as much as pre-pandemic (22%), and high-interest consumer debt (17%).

The latest Angus Reid survey by PolicyMe finds 2 out of 3 Canadians are stressed about soaring inflation rates.

“Whether it’s keeping up with the rising food, fuel, or housing costs, people are stressed about the increased cost of living — and parents are feeling it the most.”

Andrew Ostro, CEO, PolicyMe

“We’re approaching the end of 2021, a year that many were looking to with optimism, but Canadians are feeling anxious about the highest inflation rate we’ve seen in a long time,” explains Andrew Ostro, CEO, PolicyMe. “Whether it’s keeping up with the rising food, fuel, or housing costs, people are stressed about the increased cost of living — and parents are feeling it the most.”

Parents of children under 18 reports being more stressed on five of the six top personal finance stressors, compared to Canadians without dependent children.

Top Personal Finance StressorsParents WithChildren Under 18Non-parents
Increased cost of living / inflation68%67%
Not able to save enough for my retirement37%27%
Inability to absorb unforeseen expenses28%24%
Unpredictability of investments19%28%
Inability to save as much money as pre-pandemic25%21%
High-interest consumer debt (i.e., credit cards, car loans, etc.)19%16%

Financial Preparedness Can Combat Stress
For many Canadians, concerns around high costs don’t stop at the grocery store or the gas pump, they extend to important financial protections, such as life insurance. Since the pandemic began, there has been a 50 per cent uptick in the number of Canadians purchasing or considering life insurance — with 67 per cent of those citing COVID-related concerns as motivating factors.

However, of those who did not purchase life insurance, 35 per cent cited a perceived lack of affordability as the reason. This figure remained consistent from early in the pandemic (May 2020) to now, suggesting that financial concerns have not eased despite the reopening of the economy. Notably, half of parents (49%) — the demographic with the greatest need for coverage — who don’t have life insurance say they haven’t bought it because it is too expensive.

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