What’s the top stressor for Canadians?

Money comes first, followed by personal health, work and relationships

What’s the top stressor for Canadians?
Nearly two in five (38 per cent) Canadians say money is the number one source of stress in life.

Nearly two in five (38 per cent) Canadians say money is the number one source of stress in life.

This is a much bigger concern compared with personal health (26 per cent), work (20 per cent) and relationships (15 per cent), according to the 2021 FP Canada Financial Stress Index.

"We are living through the biggest health crisis of our lifetime and yet it's money that's stressing people out more than anything else," says Gillian Lee, partner and managing director at Crowe MacKay. "People losing sleep and facing health issues because of their finances is a real concern and should not be ignored. When we can't make ends meet or we're worried about where our next paycheque is coming from, it's no wonder money becomes our number one source of stress.”

Many Canadians may not be getting reliable information about financial wellbeing, which leads to greater stress, according to a previous report.

Health, productivity issues

Also, 71 per cent of Canadians identified one or more financial causes of stress – the top two areas of concern are saving enough for retirement (35 per cent) and bill payments and expenses (35 per cent).

So how does financial stress affect Canadians? It has brought on health issues (31 per cent), marriage and relationship problems (15 per cent) and family disputes (15 per cent), according to the FP report.

Others say financial stress has caused them to be distracted at work and lead to a drop in productivity (14 per cent), while some say it has led to substance abuse and mental health problems (seven per cent).

More than six in 10 (63 per cent) have not set aside anything for retirement in the past year, up by five per cent from data recorded in 2020, according to another report.

Financial supports

Having a financial planner can help alleviate some of these issues, according to the FP report. Among those who have a planner, fewer say money is their top cause of stress (23 per cent) compared with those who do not have a planner (39 per cent).

People with a financial planner are also far more hopeful about their financial future today (73 per cent) compared with those who do not (56 per cent).

“There is an increasing expectation for companies to provide income stability to their employees, especially in recent times, according to Randstad.

“Companies also stand to gain when they offer financial wellness programs and support to their employees… Employees are more likely to stay loyal to their employers to continue enjoying access to financial support programs. And through these programs, they may improve their financial literacy which will be useful to their jobs and find themselves bringing home a bigger income. At the same time, companies can benefit from having a workforce that has good financial knowledge, as they become more efficient in budgeting and financial planning.”

Latest stories