More than one third of Canadians more stressed about finances at year-end according to new Ipsos Reid survey

New Sun Life “Canadian Financial Checkup” survey finds more women than men are stressed by finances

TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2011 – According to a new study released today, more than one-in-three Canadians (36 per cent) feel more stressed this year about their finances than they did a year ago. Forty-three per cent of women and 53 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 18 to 34 feel this way.

The Canadian Financial Checkup survey, commissioned by Sun Life Financial, polled 2,131 respondents examining how Canadians feel about their personal finances, work and career, and the economy at the end of this year.

Canadians are also feeling stressed about the economy. According to the survey, one-in-five men indicated they feel more stressed about the economy than they did this time last year. It is also weighing heavily on Canadians 55 and older. Twenty per cent of this age group is also feeling more stress about the economy.

“It’s clear from the survey that the uncertain economic conditions are impacting Canadians and causing financial concerns during an already stressful time of year,” said Kevin Strain, Senior Vice-President, Individual Insurance and Investments, Sun Life Financial Canada. “Canadians approaching retirement are feeling these impacts the most because they are planning to put their savings into action. If they haven’t prepared accordingly, the current environment may be throwing their plans off track.”

Strain added that, “working with an advisor to create a solid financial plan that can weather this economic uncertainty can help ease the minds of Canadians.”

Results show that women (24 per cent) and Canadians aged 18 to 34 (30 per cent) are also feeling more stress about their work and career than they were a year ago.

“It’s not surprising that a greater number of women and younger Canadians are feeling more stress related to personal finances and work,” said Kimberly Moffitt, Psychotherapist, MMT and member of the Ontario Association of Counsellors, Consultants, Psychotherapists, and Psychometrists. “We’ve seen that women are often taking care of family finances, and the holidays are when we feel the impacts of our spending habits throughout the year.”

According to Moffitt, Canadians who fall in Generation Y are ambitious and want to move up quickly in the workforce, which can account for the results. She says, “The best way to deal with any kind of stress is to have a plan that is realistic. Make short-term goals for yourself and document them – if you set yourself up for success you’ll actually boost confidence and curb stress.”

Other interesting results showed stress varied by region:

  • Four in 10 Ontarians are more worried this year than last about their personal finances. For B.C., Alberta and Quebec, the numbers were 31 per cent, 31 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.
  • Twenty-three per cent of Quebecers are more stressed about work and career than they were last year. In Atlantic Canada and B.C., 15 per cent and 16 per cent said the same.
  • Respondents from Ontario and B.C. are more stressed this year about the economy (19 per cent and 20 per cent respectively). For Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Atlantic Canada and Quebec, the numbers were: 10 per cent, 11 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.


These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on December 12 and 13, 2011, on behalf of Sun Life Financial. For this survey, a sample of 2,131 adults from Ipsos’ online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2011, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $459 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.