Debt Anxiety and K-shaped Recovery – What to Know and Do in 2022.

If you’re feeling anxious about finances and the future after 19 months of pandemic living, you’re definitely not alone. 

If you’re feeling anxious about finances and the future after 19 months of pandemic living, you’re definitely not alone. This Fall, we reached out to thousands of Canadians and learned that:

  • 1 in 3 Canadians say their mental health has worsened over the pandemic – only 12% say it’s gotten better.
  • People are feeling stressed about their finances with 88% worried about inflation rates.
  • 71% of Canadians are worried about housing prices in their community, and 87% believe there’s an affordable housing crisis in Canada.
  • Not everyone’s economic recovery is on the same track. 1 in 4 Canadians are having a hard time keeping up with their bills. That’s an increase from last year, and it’s disproportionately impacting visible minorities and low-income families. The K-shaped recovery is real.

The outlook can seem, well, a little bleak. But there are active steps many Canadians can take to help tackle these feelings of anxiety and take charge of their financial goals. Your 2022 could really shape up differently if you:

Start by reevaluating your finances. For some Canadians, the pandemic has slashed debt and spending. You may be feeling anxious but knowing exactly where you sit financially is empowering and practical. Fear thrives in uncertainty, and 71% of Canadians admit they don’t have a financial plan. Shine a light on your finances and see where you really are. It’s the best way to start moving forward.

Work with a professional. Just like visiting a doctor for our physical wellness or a therapist for our mental health, working with a financial professional can help make all the difference in building a sensible plan for your financial goals. Most consultations are available free of charge. Even if your goals seem out of reach now, working with an advisor can help you build a plan to get there.

Remember kindness and compassion. 23% of Canadians feel like the pandemic has ruined their financial future. That’s a really difficult place to find yourself. Wherever you may be on the K-shaped recovery, it’s important to be compassionate. Not everyone’s financial recovery is on the same track and, for those who are struggling, it’s still hard times right now.

About the Debt Survey:

Now in its eleventh year, the Manulife Bank of Canada poll surveyed 2,001 Canadians in all provinces between ages 20 and 69 with household income of more than $40,000. The survey was conducted online by Ipsos between October 14 and October 18, 2021. National results were weighted by gender, age, region, and education. This survey has a credibility interval of +/- 2.5 per cent 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all Canadian adults between the ages of 20 and 69 been surveyed.

Fall Survey

Summer Survey infographic image