Canadian household debt at a record $1.5 trillion - MoneySense

Canadian household debt at a record $1.5 trillion

Majority of debt going to food, housing and transportation


The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA) reports that household debt is at an all-time high with single parents, retirees and those households making less than $50,000 a year in the most debt.

“For these individuals, there is little hope for improved financial condition,” says Anthony Ariganello, President and CEO of CGA-Canada in the report.

One-third of retired households have an average debt of $60,000 while 17% have over $100,000 in debt.

The CGA also reported that 27% of non-retired Canadians do not save at all, even for retirement.

Thirty-eight per cent of those surveyed said they are not confident about their finances in retirement, and 52% said that they had a clear idea of how much personal savings they would need to be satisfied financially in retirement. That means just under half of Canadians do not have a solid financial plan for retirement.

According to the report, the main causes of debt are due to day-to-day living expenses, not mortgages or education. In other words, Canadians are spending to consume instead of spending in the hope to create more wealth in the future.