Is the credit madness over?

MONTREAL, Dec. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Although 21% of Canadian workers and retirees say they've taken steps in the past year to improve their financial situation, including paying off their debts (18%), many Canadians are facing a new challenge. More than one in four (27%) respondents to Desjardins Financial Security's 8th annual Rethink Retirement(TM) survey saw their debt increase during this same period.

More workers (31%) than retirees (19%) reported increased debt. If one in two retirees (48%) had less than $1,000 in debt, more than one in two (51%) workers had more than $10,000 in debt, compared to one in three (34%) retirees.

Among workers, it was couples with children (20%) who were most likely to have the highest level of debt - more than $50,000 - and late boomers between the ages of 43 and 52 (20%).

"Since most workers are in the most expensive period of their life, especially the 88% who still have children living at home, this high level of debt probably isn't a real cause for concern," says Jean-Rémy Deschênes, Business Coordinator, Wealth Management Services, Desjardins Group. "Their challenge will be to make sure that they achieve a good balance between spending and saving once this period is over."

About the Rethink Retirement Survey

Desjardins Financial Security wants to find out what Canadians are thinking about saving and retirement planning, and how it can better assist them by promoting awareness and developing products and services that are well-suited to their needs. This is our eight annual survey exploring how prepared people are for their retirement. This year, SOM conducted web survey on our behalf in August 2009. In total, 1,524 interviews were conducted with a representative sample of Canadian adults. The data was statistically weighted to accurately reflect the composition of Canadians by region, gender, age and language (mother tongue) based on 2006 Census information.

About Desjardins Financial Security

Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in life insurance, health insurance and retirement savings products for individuals and groups. Every day, over five million Canadians rely on Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial security. The Company employs 3,800 people and administers over $21.9 billion in assets from offices in several cities across the country, including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, Lévis, Halifax and St. John's. For more information, visit www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Desjardins Financial Security

For further information: For further information: Isabelle Truchon, Communications Advisor, (514) 350-8700, extension 8668, Toll free: 1-877-750-8700, extension 8668, Isabelle.truchon@dsf.ca; Virtual newsroom: http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com/press

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