The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy just released their 2015 Annual Report of bankruptcies and consumer proposals in Canada and from these numbers we can see the impact shifts in the Canadian economy have on indebted Canadians. In 2015, 121,609 Canadians filed for insolvency, an increase of three per cent over the prior year.
While it is a worthy goal to maximize your savings prior to retirement, it is even more important that you retire debt free. If you retire and are still making payments on car loans, mortgages, or high interest rate debts like credit cards and payday loans you require a much higher income in retirement to survive.
Payday loan companies in Ontario can charge a maximum of $21 on every $100 borrowed. That may not sound like a lot, but if you take out that loan every two weeks, for a year, you will have paid $546, which is an annual interest rate of 546 per cent. That's a lot higher than even the highest credit card interest rate.
The National Strategy for Financial Literacy - Count me in, Canada is an ambitious playbook for country that brings together a wide range of stakeholders, identifies priorities and targets deliverables. It's time to act. Canadians who acquire financial knowledge today will be positioned for a better future.
The fact is that nearly nine out of 10 Canadians believe the cost of living is outpacing their household income. Our economy has more than doubled in size since 1980, but median incomes have flat lined. Household debt has ballooned to over 163 per cent of disposable income. As Liberals, we believe a strong economy is one that provides the largest number of good jobs to the largest number of Canadians. But by that measure, we are in trouble. Canadians continue to work hard, but the majority of them are finding it tougher and tougher to get by.
In a country that prides itself on its social safety net, one could argue that the current personal debt story is really a story of an endangered future for the things we hold dear as a society. Will debt-ridden Canadians be supportive at election time of paying more in taxes to maintain universal health care?