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July 13, 2021

How to measure your financial health

By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

As the country’s economic outlook continues to darken, more and more and more people are really starting to fret about their retirement – at least until they get there.  

Research from Russell Investments Canada suggests that 10 years from retirement, roughly two thirds of Canadians admit to worrying about outliving their money, but only one in five retirees were still worried 10 years into their retirement.

Maybe they weren't as poorly off as they thought.

To help you obtain an early assessment of your own financial wellbeing, Russell looked at 11 different elements. The result is the Russell Financial Health Index, an easy-to-use tool that lets you gauge your own financial health and compare it to investors across the country.     

Each score is a result of analyzing variables that include physical health, personal finances, and retirement readiness. For instance, now that you’ve had a taste of a bear market, you’ll be asked to gauge how prepared you are to ride out future changes in your investment performance before and during retirement.

While hearing about everyone else’s business doesn’t necessarily improve your own circumstances, it’s useful to have a guidepost along the way.

If this all seems too serious though, have a look at the Pudding Index, a straightforward tool that compares your retirement savings to a benchmark account designed to replace roughly 50 to 60% of your final pay upon retirement at age 65. A score of 100 or more suggests you’re doing just fine; a lower score suggests that you might be falling behind.

If you're in your mid-20's, you can hit the 100 mark with a retirement plan balance of just 10% of your annual pay. But someone in their 60's will need close to seven times their salary in the till to stay above 100.

Where are you on the scale?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...