Not Saving Enough for Retirement Tops the List of Concerns

  • 61% made at least one really bad financial decision, losing an average
    of $29,000
  • Only 36% think they are saving enough for retirement
  • Just 38% are confident they could pay for an emergency expense

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI), a leading provider of financial services to
middle-income families In North America, today released its 2019
Canadian Financial Security Monitor
which found many Canadians
remain anxious about their long-term financial security. Based on a
survey of 1,000 middle-income Canadians with household incomes between
$20,000 and $100,000, the Monitor found that many families are not
taking the essential steps necessary to secure their financial future.

Primerica’s Monitor provides a detailed snapshot of middle-income
Canadians financial preparedness, habits, and concerns. It revealed that
only one-third of respondents feel confident in their understanding of
general financial concepts such as budgeting, saving, and investing.
Those who have met with a financial professional showed stronger
financial knowledge and preparedness based on the Monitor’s Financial
Security Scorecard. Not surprisingly, when given the choice between
meeting with a licensed professional in-person or doing their own online
research to make a major financial decision, the majority (64%) of
participants would choose to talk with a professional.

Retirement savings is the number one financial concern for middle income
Canadians (62%). However, the majority don’t view retirement savings as
a critical element of success until after age 50, leaving less time to
set aside funds needed to secure a comfortable retirement. Many are
concerned that their family might not be able to pay their bills if they
die (52%).

“Primerica has spent over three decades serving Canada’s middle market,
and we were not surprised that the Monitor revealed that most working
families don’t feel confident enough to take the steps necessary to
achieve financial security,” said John Adams, CEO of Primerica Canada.
“Every day, Primerica’s representatives are focused on helping
middle-income families across the country. We break down financial
concepts into straightforward language and provide a roadmap to help
them determine the right next steps toward a more secure financial

Costly Financial Mistakes

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (61%) acknowledge making at least one
really bad financial decision, with an average loss of more than $29,000.

Many Concerned About Credit Card Debt

High credit card debt remains a concern for middle-income Canadians.
Their average credit card debt is over $3,300 and nearly half do not pay
off their credit card balance every month. Millennials fair worse than
their older counterparts, with almost twice as many paying only the
minimum required or less each month (21% vs. 11%.)

Need to Prepare for Emergencies

Just over one third are confident they could pay for an emergency
expense, and 65% worry about how their families would cope financially
if faced with a major medical expense, or if there was a significant
economic recession.

The Benefit of a Financial Professional to Long-term Preparedness

To measure long-term preparedness, the Monitor included a Financial
Security Scorecard

Survey respondents were graded based on whether or not they engage in
the following financial preparedness fundamentals:

  • Making more than the minimum payment on credit card bills every month;
  • Having $50,000 or more In life Insurance coverage;
  • Saving every month, regardless of amount;
  • Investing some of their money in accounts outside of traditional
    savings accounts;
  • Having enough savings to cover three months of expenses if the primary
    breadwinner loses his or her job.

Over one quarter of middle-income Canadians (27%) reported doing two or
fewer of these financial fundamentals. Those who met with a financial
professional showed stronger results: 82% of those who met with a
financial professional earned a C or better, compared to just 54% of
those who have not met with a financial professional.

“Our Financial Security Monitor confirms that financial security is
something that everyone strives for and most people would benefit from
the assistance of a financial professional in mapping a course toward
that goal,” Adams added. “Due to our 33 years of experience helping
middle income families prepare for their financial futures, Primerica is
uniquely positioned to provide that critical part of the financial

About the Primerica Financial Security Monitor

This survey was designed and conducted by Golfdale Consulting, an
independent research and insights firm, on behalf of Primerica. The
nationally-representative online survey polled 1,000 middle-income
Canadians, resulting in a margin of error of about 3 percentage points
at a 95% confidence level. The poll was completed in February 2019 to
better understand their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to
their personal finances. Respondents were ages 18 and older and had
total annual household incomes between CAD$20,000 and $100,000. For the
full report, visit

About Primerica, Inc.

Primerica, Inc., headquartered in Duluth, GA, provides financial
services to middle income households in North America. In Canada,
Primerica is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario. Primerica
representatives educate their clients about how to better prepare for a
more secure financial future by assessing their needs and providing
appropriate solutions through term life insurance and segregated funds
through Primerica Life Insurance Company of Canada, mutual funds through
PFSL Investments Canada Ltd., as well as debt consolidation loans,
disability insurance and other financial products. Across North America,
Primerica insured more than 5 million lives and had over 2 million
client investment accounts at December 31, 2018, and it was the #2
issuer of Term Life insurance coverage in 2018. Primerica stock is
included in the S&P MidCap 400 and the Russell 2000 stock indices and is
traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRI.”


Keith Hancock, Primerica
Tel: 470-564-6328
Email: [email protected]