More than Half of Canadian Seniors are Worried about their Financial Future



    
    Angus Reid survey reveals how current economic downturn is affecting
    seniors' outlook on retirement plans, investment losses, credit access
    and home value depreciation
    

    TORONTO, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - Compared to this time last year, a majority (53
per cent) of Canadian seniors feel less secure about their financial future,
according to a recent Angus Reid Strategies study commissioned by Canadian
Home Income Plan (CHIP).
    The national survey, which targeted Canadians 60 and over, is the first
scientific poll to assess the mood of seniors since the economic downturn in
the latter half of 2008.
    In addition to concern over financial security, Angus Reid found that a
significant number of respondents (37 per cent) who are not yet retired have
been forced to delay retirement plans due to the current economic situation.
Further, 44 per cent of Canadians over 60 are worried about their homes
decreasing in value. This concern is felt most in the Maritimes (55 per cent)
and in Ontario (52 per cent).
    "While this study was conducted before the federal budget was delivered
and is a reflection of considerable concern by seniors about their financial
future, it's encouraging to see that there are a number of measures in the
federal budget that will help seniors manage their finances", said Steven
Ranson, President and CEO, Canadian Home Income Plan Corp.
    "These measures include the changes to tax brackets, increase on the
senior age credit, and the home renovation tax credit. While we believe that
government action is certainly part of the solution, it is also up to private
sector participants like CHIP to ensure that Canadian seniors continue to
benefit from financial solutions that meet their needs," added Ranson.
    When it comes to the present state of the stock market, a considerable
number of respondents (68 per cent) are concerned about investment losses in
2009. Forty-one per cent of those in the 60-65 age group said they are very
concerned about investment losses this year.
    The poll also found that access to credit is a rising concern, with
one-in-five Canadian seniors (21 per cent) worried about getting credit
access, compared to this time last year. One in 10 respondents with a
household income below $50,000 said they have sought more credit as a result
of today's economic climate.
    The troubled economy has also led 15 per cent of seniors to consider
downsizing or selling their home, according to Mario Canseco, vice-president
of public affairs at Angus Reid. "Almost one-in-five respondents living in
households with a yearly income of less than $50,000 are considering this as
an option," he said.
    Canadian seniors indicated that the No. 1 financial challenge experienced
by family members is cutting back on day-to-day spending (42 per cent), and
among the 60-65 age group, 16 per cent have family members who have withdrawn
money from savings and retirement accounts.
    Additional Survey Highlights:

    
    -  Ontarians feel the least secure about their financial future compared
       to last year (57 per cent), followed by Atlantic Canadians
       (55 per cent)
    -  15 per cent of respondents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have sought
       more credit in light of the current economic situation
    -  Given today's economic climate, 1 in 5 Canadian seniors aged 60-70 are
       concerned about getting credit approval
    -  More women than men are worried about home value depreciation
       (49 per cent vs. 38 per cent)
    -  Respondents from households with incomes of over $100K are most
       concerned (80 per cent) about investment losses in 2009
    -  Between provinces, B.C. residents are most likely to retire later
       (14 per cent), followed by Atlantic Canadians (13 per cent), as a
       result of the current economic situation
    

    About Canadian Home Income Plan

    Canadian Home Income Plan is an established and leading provider of
simple and sensible financial solutions for seniors 60 years of age and over.
Founded in 1986, CHIP has helped thousands of Canadians access the equity in
their homes to improve cash flow. Recognized as the industry leader in home
equity lending to seniors, CHIP has a well-established distribution network,
including national chartered banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, and
investment and financial planning firms. CHIP is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Home Equity Income Trust (HOMEQ). HOMEQ is listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange (TSX) under the symbol HEQ.UN.

    About the Survey

    From January 20 to January 21, 2009 Angus Reid Strategies conducted an
online survey among 1,000 randomly selected Canadian adults over the age of 60
who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error - which measures
sampling variability - is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been
statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender
and region Census data to ensure a representative sample. Discrepancies in or
between totals are due to rounding.





For further information:

For further information: To speak with Angus Reid or Canadian Home
Income Plan: Arthur Krzycki, Director, Channel Marketing, CHIP Canadian Home
Income Plan, Tel: (416) 413-5182, akrzycki@chip.ca; Buket Oktem, MAVERICK
Public Relations, Tel: (416) 640-5525 ext. 223, buketo@maverickpr.com

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CANADIAN HOME INCOME PLAN

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