Planning lets you focus on what's important

Sun Life Financial study reveals large majority of Quebecois expect financial consequences from a serious health condition

MONTREAL, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - The second edition of the Sun Life Canadian Health IndexTM reveals that almost 9 out of 10 Quebecois expect a financial hit from a serious or chronic health condition and half believe it would have a major financial impact, with 18- to 54-year-olds feeling they will take the hardest blow.

Although aware they could face major financial consequences, fewer than 6 out of 10 in Quebec say they are preparing for a serious illness and most have no written financial plan addressing this issue.

"When a health event happens you want to focus on what's most important, which is taking care of yourself and spending time with family. Meeting with an advisor and creating a plan lets you put your energy into what really matters at such a difficult time," said Isabelle Hudon, President, Sun Life Financial, Quebec.

Quebecois do, however, realize the financial impact of a major health condition:

  • 42% in Quebec say they have personally experienced a health issue.
  • 77% say someone close to them has personally experienced a health issue.

Care after retirement
Many Quebecois expect that they will have to pay at least part of their health-related costs after they retire. More than 70% in Quebec say they expect to pay for medication, medical equipment in the home or long term care. And a significant majority of Quebecois think they will need long-term care (69%).

"A strong financial plan developed with an experienced financial advisor gives you solutions for handling life's ups and downs and for living your retirement dreams," explained Hudon.

On average Quebecois expect to live 81.6 years.

The following graphs provide a detailed illustration of the data presented in this press release:

Financial impact anticipated from a major or chronic health condition
Quebecois who are financially prepared for a serious illness
Quebecois who have a written financial plan
Quebecois who have had someone close to them experience a health issue
Quebecois who have personally experienced a health issue
Most Quebecois expect to fund or share health care costs
Seven in 10 Quebecois anticipate needing long-term care

Information about the study
Measuring Canadians' attitudes, perceptions and behaviours about their health.
The 2011 Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ measures the attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of Canadians relating to their personal health. This second wave in a series of studies yielded an overall index score of 70 for Quebec on a scale of 0 to 100. A person who scored high on the overall Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ also scored high on each of the individual attitudinal, behavioural and perceived health components.

The overall index is a blend of scores in three sub-indices: Perceived Health Index for Quebec (score = 73.8), Attitudinal Health Index for Quebec (score = 68.2) and Behaviour Health Index for Quebec (score = 67.9).

For more information about the national study, visit www.sunlife.ca/CanadianHealthIndex.

Methodology 
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between July 27 and September 12, 2011 on behalf of Sun Life Financial. For this survey, a sample of 3,233 Canadians (including 1,234 Quebecois) aged 18 to 80 years old from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to 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. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. The Sun Life Canadian Health Index is composed of a series of sub-indices composed of attitudinal, behavioural and perceived measures, each benchmarked to 100. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of wealth accumulation and protection products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2011, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $459 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF.
Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars.

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.

For further information:

Media contact:
Isabel Matte
Senior Communications Specialist
Sun Life Financial
Tel.: 514-866-3361
isabel.matte@sunlife.com


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