Forty per cent of Canadians facing financial hardship after serious health
Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ reveals Canadians aged 45 to 54 hardest hit
by unforeseen healthcare costs
TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians who have had a serious health event
or diagnosis are feeling the pinch, with 40 per cent reporting financial
hardship as a result. More than half (53 per cent) of 45 to 54 year olds are
struggling to make ends meet after a major health incident, according to the
fourth annual Sun Life Canadian Health Index™, conducted by Ipsos Reid.
Of those impacted by a personal health crisis, some highlights from the survey
-- 22 per cent turned to credit cards or personal lines of credit;
-- 22 per cent tapped into personal savings;
-- 12 per cent borrowed from a loved one; and
-- 5 per cent were forced to either remortgage or sell their home.
"Coping with a personal health crisis is difficult enough without the addition
of financial strain," said Kevin Dougherty, President, Sun Life Financial
Canada. "We have seen first-hand the devastating impact that serious health
issues can have on an individual and their families. The short-term financial
impacts are overwhelming and immediate, but there can also be longer-term
negative implications on retirement plans. Having a financial plan can help to
deal with the unexpected."
While a majority of Canadians (82 per cent) realize that a serious health
event could impact their personal finances, few (13 per cent) have money set
aside for uncovered healthcare costs. These health events are dire and include
heart attack, stroke, cancer, coronary bypass, chronic diseases, degenerative
disorders, terminal illnesses and serious accidents. A fifth of Canadians (20
per cent) have no group insurance, personal insurance or health expense
savings to help absorb the shock.
Juggling childcare and eldercare, managing mortgages and retirement planning,
can leave Canadians overextended and ill-equipped for surprise expenses,
especially healthcare costs not covered by government or employer plans.
"Canadians aged 45 to 54, commonly referred to as the sandwich generation,
also have a unique set of priorities that include caring for their children
and their parents while working and saving for their own retirement. This
explains why they're more deeply affected by unplanned healthcare costs," said
Alison Griffiths, financial columnist and commentator. "With job instability
and a tough economic climate, many are stretched too thin. A large portion of
sandwichers are nearing retirement, but may be forced to delay these plans to
recoup financial losses."
Seventy-seven per cent of Canadians report they are experiencing excessive
levels of stress, a five percentage point increase over the previous year.
Finances are the most likely cause of excessive stress across all age
brackets. Though 45 to 54 year olds face the most financial pressure,
generation Y bears the larger stress burden at 84 per cent.
For more key findings and results on the 2013 Sun Life Canadian Health Index(
TM), visit www.sunlife.ca/CanadianHealthIndex. For more information on tips on
healthy living and financial planning, visit BrighterLife.ca.
About the survey
The Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ measures the attitudes of Canadians
towards healthy lifestyles and reports these in the form of an index.
The fourth annual Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ is based on the findings
of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between May 10-24, 2013. A sample of 2,400
Canadians from 18 to 80 years of age from the Ipsos Canadian panel was
Ipsos employed weighting to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's
composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and
to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.
The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility
interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to within + / - 2 percentage
points had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may
be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to
methodological change, coverage error and measurement error.
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization
providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and
services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its
partners have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the
United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan,
Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda.
As of June30, 2013, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total
assets under management of $591 billion. For more information, please visit
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and
Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.
SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.
Yasna Criscione Sun Life Financial 416-204-8108 Yasna.Criscione@sunlife.com
Carmela Antolino Sun Life Financial 416-986-8179 Carmela.Antolino@sunlife.com
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CO: Sun Life Financial Inc.
NI: FIN INS ECOSURV
-0- Sep/30/2013 10:00 GMT
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