Majority of Canadians lack a financial plan: Sun Life survey

Having a holistic plan is key to lifetime financial security

Toronto, ON (Sept. 27, 2021) – Life is full of important moments: following your passions, buying your first home, growing your family, giving back, reaching retirement. Then there are the events no one wishes for: fixing a leaky roof, being let go from a job or suffering a critical illness that prevents you from earning an income. One of the key differentiators between those who achieve lifetime financial security and those that don’t? A financial plan. Yet most Canadians are not making a plan their priority. A recent survey conducted by Sun Life found that over half of all Canadians (52%) do not have a financial plan in place.

Of the 43% of Canadians who do have a plan, over one-third (33%) do not have life or critical illness insurance. Insurance protection is even lower among those aged 55 and up with 44% stating they do not have insurance. This is followed by those aged 35-54 (27%) and those 18-34 years of age (21%). When asked why they do not have insurance in their financial plan, nearly one-third (29%) said, ‘I don’t need insurance’. Men were significantly more likely to say they do not need insurance coverage than women at 41% versus 19%.

“Insurance is an important part of a financial plan that will support you and your loved ones for years to come,” said Vineet Kochhar, Senior-Vice President, Insurance Solutions, Sun Life Canada. “Life can be unpredictable – many of us may face challenges that leave us unprepared. Whether you’re married with kids or have a partner or relatives that depend on you financially, life insurance ensures they are supported,” Mr. Kochhar added. “Insurance can seem daunting to navigate on your own – advisors are here to help you understand the insurance solutions available to you and which products suit your needs and complement the rest of your financial plan.”

While many Canadians delay in creating a plan and purchasing life insurance, financial concerns remain top of mind. Sun Life asked Canadians their greatest financial concern – cost of living was ranked the top concern at 36%. This was followed by having enough money saved for the future and/or retirement (23%), paying off debt (17%) and affording a house (13%).

Canadians aged 55 and up rated ‘having enough money for the future and/or retirement’ their second highest concern after cost of living. Yet, that same age group has not created a financial plan. Of those aged 55 and older, the group that is closest to retirement, nearly half (47%) have not created a plan.

“At Sun Life, our goal is to equip every Client with a personalized financial plan and help them live their best life,” said Rowena Chan, President, Sun Life Financial Distributors (Canada) Inc. and SVP, Distribution. “A financial plan, combined with advisors’ unique ability to provide Clients with holistic advice, opens endless opportunities for Canadians. When an advisor helps Clients set up a holistic financial plan, they approach the conversation with three themes in mind – wealth, health and insurance needs – all equally important to reaching your goals,” Ms. Chan added.

Financial security is a key pillar of Sun Life’s sustainability strategy. By providing Clients with innovative products and services, we’re helping secure their—and their family’s—financial future. Sun Life recently announced a collaboration with Conquest Planning Inc. to provide its best-in-class, digital financial planning tool to empower Canadians to reach their life goals. Sun Life is the first Canadian organization to introduce the digital tool across all its wealth and insurance service platforms.

About the Survey

The survey is based on findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between August 27 and August 30, 2021. A sample of 1,502 Canadians was drawn from the Ipsos I-Say online panel aged 18 and older. The data for Canadians surveyed was weighted to ensure the sample’s regional, age, and gender composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.9% at 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.

About Sun Life

Sun Life (TSX, NYSE, PSE: SLF) Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2021, Sun Life had total assets under management of CAD $1.36 trillion. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: Sun Life Financial Inc.

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