Are you doing better or worse than other families?
By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance
The effects of the current economic downturn will be felt around the kitchen table for years to come, predicts the latest Vanier Institute report on the state of families in Canada.
It warns that household spending and debt are rising faster than incomes; that overall debt loads are dangerously high; and that unattached adults are rapidly becoming the country's forgotten poor.
The Vanier report estimates that Canadians’ average debt has risen six times faster than average incomes since 1990, and now stands at a whopping 140% of household disposable income. And, despite the Bank of Canada’s sudden optimism, it seems things are likely to get a lot worse for many families.
In previous recessions, Canadian families offset the impact of job loss by having women take up more paid employment. This time out, most women are already working which means there’s a much smaller reserve army of labour for families to call upon, says Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives economist Armine Yalnizyan.
Women have jumped into the work force in record numbers since the fall, either because their retirement savings have been decimated or their partners have lost work. They're having more success than those those partners because they're often more willing to take jobs that many men don't want.
Her study also finds finds that, compared to previous recessions, this one is packing a bigger punch in its early days than any before it.
What’s worse, adds the Vanier Institute, is how the composition of household net worth has changed over the past decade, with real estate, pensions and stocks now representing more than 80% of household net worth, compared to roughly 50% in the mid-1990s.
This makes the whole basket more volatile than in previous decades, forcing families to keep an even closer watch on what little wealth they do have compared to previous years.
Are you among those who feel they’re one or two paycheques away from being in real trouble? Has somebody gone back to work as a result? Are doing better or worse than most Canadians? Use this tool to see where you stand compared to the rest of the country.
Posted by: Adam | Jul 30, 2021 12:11:35 AM
" the composition of household net worth has changed over the past decade, with real estate, pensions and stocks now representing more than 80% of household net worth, compared to roughly 50% in the mid-1990s. "
In the mid-90's, what represented the other 50% of household net worth?
This seems awfully low considering you're counting real estate, pensions and stocks...I just can't figure out what the other major assets are; cars/bikes/trailers? lol
literally though, what consituted the other 50% in the mid 90's
thanks - Adam
Posted by: armlecker | Jul 30, 2021 4:52:07 AM
Before I shall comment on this subject , i like to read other comments. Opens my mind . there is only one thing at the moment .The goverment`s scam to give you $ 1350 on homeimprovements .the taxes you pay on this endevour puts it back in their hands .The results of it is nothing gained only one is $10000 poorer .mostlikely on a loan from the bank . Think about these socalled help .Like to read other comments on this.
Posted by: miclo | Jul 30, 2021 7:44:12 AM
We live in a small community and yes we are affected by everything , we have a laid off here with our company for 3 weekds and it's only a start. Grocerie store raise the price of .50 cent to a dollar an item. we have only one place to shop than they don't have competition. we live between 2 hr from any big center. it's crazy our gouvernement let us paid the bill of there ignorance when you ear in the news ... Mr Jones is out on bail... yah right he ruine how many people... and us what will happen? we are scare and no one can't help.. and we still paying the bill, Hydro is sky high, gaz is crazy .. we almost gave up... nana
Posted by: roger | Jul 30, 2021 7:59:16 AM
first of all,I agree with armlecker,the groverment has scam the canadian people to spend up to $10.000.00 on home inprovement.The amount of tax on $10.000.00 is around $1350.00.People takes up loans for home renovations and the intrest on the loans are greater than the tax brake that they will recieved...so who is the winner in this deal...the goverment to get you to spend the money...the loan company for giving you a loan and the contractors to do the job for you and of course you got your renovation done,but in the long run your the losers on this deal
Posted by: Johnny Farmer | Jul 30, 2021 8:00:23 AM
Times are tough for us that's for sure. It gets frustrating to see people live off the government and have everything paid for while I try to work and get by.
Posted by: nottobrite | Jul 30, 2021 8:00:32 AM
Only one thing to say . When you push people to hard watch out for the explosion .
Posted by: Mary Ann | Jul 30, 2021 8:06:13 AM
I am divorced with an ex husband that quit his job so he didn't have to pay child support.As a resuly from that I lost my car and the 3 jobs I had.I have been working part time as a dietary aid and looking for more work. My job as a dietary aid will end in March because I can not pay for courses needed as it is manditory by the Gov,social services will not help they say I make too much a little over 800 dollars a month.I am going to be homeless in a few months as I am in a womans protective apt at this time and my time is up staying there.So my daughter and I will be on the street this is Canada.Yes we are all suffering and we read about people getting ripped off by these investors wow what a country slap on the wrist while the rest of us see our lifes destroyed.
Posted by: Accter | Jul 30, 2021 11:05:46 AM
Planning ahead always pays. Many people right now are suffering but a lot of them made choices earlier in life that inevitably lead to where they are now. Why would anybody try to live a lifestyle they can't afford? You know eventually you will run out of credit and end up bankrupt. Why would you possibly allow yourself not to have any skills to support yourself and ensure that you are employed? Without a good job you won't have a good life, plain and simple.
The simple fact of the matter is that if you live with the knowledge that you are responsible for your personal wellbeing and that nobody will help you if you fail will allow you to make the decisions you must make in order to survive.
I went to school not because I could but because I couldn't afford not too. It has lead to a successful career with all kinds of opportunities. My spouse has chosen the same path and we do well and life is quite easy but we got here from taking the hard road with hard choices.
So ask yourself right now if you are in a tight spot what caused this to happen. Then go out and change that thing so that you can move ahead from this point. This will allow you to make a better life in the future. If what you have done until now hasn't worked why keep going in the same direction?
Posted by: Calco | Jul 30, 2021 7:09:41 PM
I agree with Accter. If you're laid off, go to school, get retrained and find work. That's what I'm doing and it's exciting. They're are many different bursaries and loans out there so there is really no good excuse not to. A lot of people are too busy complaining without realizing that it will take some accommodation/assimilation and energy on their part. Nothing is ever hopeless and you'll never find yourself on the street (unless you have social disorders or other problems) so hold your head up. I'm surprised that people still think the economy and life doesn't have it's ups and downs.
On the bashing of the government credit for home improvements. That money you spend on improvements (replacing windows, furnaces, water heaters, fridges) will save more in the long run on energy bills. And a line of credit from a bank and the interest you accrue from that will never be that high. If you're not interested in saving on your energy bill, than don't bother with it.
So, first, stop complaining. Second, invest your new found time in understanding money, saving, credit, etc. and understand your situation. Look at your income and spending and start making adjustments; talk to people who know about this stuff. Third, figure out how make ends meet that can't be met with your current income and get out of the situation using the options available: push all you loans into one line of credit (and this one payment), find student bursaries (there are thousands in Ontario alone), re-education, etc. Fourth, plan ahead for the next time this happens - because it will.
Posted by: nick | Jul 31, 2021 12:38:30 AM
This is a delicate balance. Not everyone as the same opportunities and circumstances.
If your life is easy as some one said and the path you have chosen is whta you base yor happiness and weel being on, your in fro a suprise one day. The reason I say that is because our system will evetually fall flat on it's face one day. even those who crossed all their I's and T's will come down with it too, and fall even hjarder than those now roughing it. Don't be too proud of you doings. After all if it were not for God you would not be breathing now. Also many are not aware of whats really coming this is just the prelude.
I know of many who are doing well and see no need for God in their lives, and people who are suffering, coming to God. Don't believe? when youdie you will cahnge your mind.
Do it now, not then,then is too late.
Posted by: Chris | Jul 31, 2021 7:41:00 AM
I love all these negative comments you see in today's media. The whole system will collapse, double dip recession, good news but still be pessimistic. What strikes me as disappointing is the amount of people who use these negative comments as actual facts and continue to spread the fear and prolong this recession longer. We as a society as a whole need to take a look and realize what sells theses papers and has people read these articles. When everyone is fearful of the unknown what do you think will sell papers, not good news. I for one stopped reading all the negative articles and chose who I would get my info from. How bout people read or watch some interviews with Warren Buffett, Obama, or anyone else who has something good to say.
On a separate note its time to start buying things we can afford and make getting a loan a last resort, the way our grandparents did it! I bet you never heard you grandparents say that they got laid off but because of credit cards and poor purchases they were going bankrupt! Pay for things in cash and be thankful of this recession for providing an intervention for all of us to rethink our philosophies on personal finance.
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