With Financial Literacy Month just around the corner, Equifax Canada has conducted a revealing survey that sheds light on the unique financial challenges facing the younger generation in Canada. In this article, we delve into the key findings of the survey, highlighting the issues that are disproportionately impacting young Canadians.
Bridging the knowledge gap
Financial literacy has long been considered a critical skill for navigating the complex world of personal finance. Surprisingly, nearly half of the respondents disclosed that they've never received any form of financial education. This glaring knowledge gap underscores the dire need for financial education, particularly among young adults.
What's particularly striking is the generational gap in seeking financial knowledge. Millennials and Gen Z-ers, aged 18-34, often resort to social media for financial insights. This not only showcases their thirst for knowledge but also underscores the urgency of making comprehensive financial literacy programs readily available to cater to the financial needs of young Canadians.
Debt weighing heavily on young shoulders
Debt is a spectre that looms large over the younger generation. A staggering 52% of those aged 18-34 expressed deep anxiety concerning their debt levels, a figure significantly higher than the overall average of 39% among other age groups. This financial burden is driving many young Canadians to explore unconventional income sources, like side gigs or multiple jobs, just to make ends meet.
What's even more concerning is the heightened unease about retirement. An astonishing 68% of young adults are haunted by the fear that their financial future may be at risk. These statistics emphasize the urgency of providing early financial planning and education to help young individuals manage their debt and secure their financial future.
Housing affordability: a challenge for the younger generation
Housing affordability remains a monumental concern for younger Canadians, with 86% of respondents, especially young adults, believing that the government should take more decisive action to address this crisis. Many young Canadians are apprehensive that their mortgages may be renewed at interest rates that could strain their already burdened finances.
The data also reveals that 31% of respondents have had to seek additional income to cope with the escalating mortgage or rent payments, while 35% express concerns about their job security. Furthermore, a significant 19% are contemplating relocating due to affordability issues. The survey underscores the fact that 52% of Canadians agree that newcomers face housing challenges due to their lack of a credit history, further emphasizing the urgent need for accessible and affordable housing solutions, especially for the younger generation.
A battle for financial security and data protection
Younger Canadians are significantly more complacent about data protection, with 32% of those aged 18 to 34 believing they are unlikely to fall victim to identity theft, compared to 19% of all respondents. This raises a concerning level of complacency, especially in the age of digital identity theft.
On a positive note, young adults are more vigilant in regularly monitoring their credit reports, with 68% doing so compared to 62% of all respondents. It's crucial to stress the importance of staying watchful about personal data protection and consistently checking credit reports, as it's one of the most effective ways to detect identity theft in its early stages.
Empowering the Financial Resilience of the Younger Generation
Equifax Canada's survey uncovers the financial struggles of the younger generation in Canada, emphasizing the pressing need for improved financial literacy, addressing housing affordability, and strengthening data protection. It's evident that young Canadians are facing unique financial challenges that require specific attention and support. As Financial Literacy Month approaches, let's reflect on these findings and explore strategies to empower the financial resilience of the younger generation.
For those in the younger generation grappling with financial challenges, it's crucial to stress the significance of creating and following a budget. Setting up a budget tailored to your income and expenses can be a powerful tool in managing your finances effectively and ensuring a more secure financial future for young Canadians