Canadians’ Financial Worries Escalate Amidst Inflation Surge: RBC 2023 Financial Flexibility Poll


Inflation continues to cast a long shadow over the lives of Canadians, leaving them uneasy about their day-to-day spending, savings, and future financial security, as revealed in the RBC 2023 Financial Flexibility Poll. The survey highlights the pressing financial concerns that have gripped the nation, emphasizing the need for comprehensive financial planning.

Financial Realities Unveiled

1. The Struggle to Save in the Face of Rising Costs (77%) Canadians are grappling with the harsh reality of inflation as a staggering 77% express their desire to save more but find themselves handcuffed by the relentless surge in costs. The cost of living is rapidly outpacing their ability to set aside funds for the future.

2. Fears of Falling Behind Financially (64%) A significant 64% of respondents voice their apprehensions about falling behind financially in the current year. The specter of inflation looms large, leaving them anxious about maintaining their financial stability.

3. Mounting Stress Over Money Matters (48%) Financial stress levels are at an all-time high, with nearly half (48%) of those surveyed admitting that they have never experienced such anxiety about their finances. The relentless pressure of inflation is taking its toll on the mental well-being of Canadians.

Inflation’s Ominous Future Impact

1. Concerns About Accumulating Debt (72%) With the ominous specter of inflation projected into 2024, a staggering 72% of individuals burdened with debt express their fears of taking on more financial liabilities. The rising cost of living threatens to exacerbate their debt woes.

2. Worries Over Covering Unexpected Costs and Expenses (67% and 62%) The majority of Canadians are apprehensive about their ability to cover unexpected expenses (67%) and ongoing costs (62%). Inflation’s relentless march has left them questioning their financial preparedness for unforeseen challenges.

3. Prolonged Retirement Worries (39%) Inflation’s grip extends to retirement plans, with 39% of respondents expressing concerns that it will take longer for them to retire. The prospect of delayed retirement looms large, disrupting long-held dreams of financial security in retirement.

4. Returning From Retirement (21%) A distressing 21% of Canadians anticipate the need to come out of retirement due to inflation’s impact. These individuals face the unsettling possibility of reentering the workforce to make ends meet.

Recession Looms Large

The RBC poll also underscores Canadians’ concerns about a potential recession. A significant 71% believe that a recession today would be harsher on everyone than the one experienced in 2008/2009. Moreover, 70% expect negative consequences for their own finances in the event of a recession. Over half (53%) are too preoccupied with covering their current expenses to worry about the looming recession.

Seeking Financial Resilience

Craig Bannon, Director of Regional Financial Planning Support at RBC, emphasizes the importance of having a robust financial plan in place. Such a plan offers the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, providing a lifeline amidst the turbulence caused by inflation and economic uncertainties. RBC advisors stand ready to assist Canadians in crafting financial plans that enable them to navigate the challenges of today and tomorrow, no matter how unpredictable they may be.

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