Four out of five Canadians agree that being financially secure is important to their tomorrow, but not to the detriment of leading a balanced life and pursuing personal passions, according to a national survey released Wednesday by HSBC Bank Canada.

The bank says it commissioned the survey to better understand what Canadians aspire to when they think about their short- and long-term goals and what they’re doing now to reach them.

“The ‘Tomorrow, Today’ survey clearly indicates that Canadians are prioritizing social relationships, experiences such as travel and their desire to contribute to society — the very factors that are often associated with increased happiness,” says Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who has extensively studied happiness and its relationship to financial well-being. “This is notable because people often misunderstand what will make them happy.”

Practically all survey respondents (97%) want to lead a balanced life and particular priorities include: ensuring that their family is well cared for (91%); wishing to travel (89%); contributing something meaningful to society (87%); and living a greener lifestyle (84%).

“In the survey, Canadians overwhelmingly indicated a desire to spend more time with their families (87%); having high quality social relationships with friends and family is a significant predictor of happiness,” Dunn continues, “Interestingly when asked to rank aspects of their tomorrow in order of importance, Canadians ranked travel nearly as high as owning a home, a more traditional aspiration.”

While Canadians have a clear, insightful view of their aspirations for tomorrow, the data reveals a contrasting uncertainty with how and when they will achieve those goals. Survey results show that only one in four respondents express much confidence in achieving their ideal tomorrow in five years; confidence levels grow as the target date eases. However, it also found that four-in-five Canadians are taking steps now to prepare for their tomorrow and more than half (55%) feel that their primary bank is helping them achieve those goals.

From August 12-16, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,020 randomly selected Canadian adults among current Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error – which measures sampling variability is +/- 3.1%.

New HSBC solution intended to help Canadians achieve their financial goals faster

Aligned with the findings of the survey, a newly-introduced personal banking package, HSBC Advance, simplifies everyday banking to help Canadians achieve their financial goals faster, and focuses on four key areas — day-to-day banking products, global services and reach for those who travel or work overseas, investment tools to help clients grow their money, and protection for individuals and their finances as they plan for their tomorrow.

“HSBC Advance helps Canadians manage their money more efficiently in order to achieve their goals,” says Margaret Willis, executive vice president and head of personal financial services and wealth management, HSBC Bank Canada. “By combining quality products and services with global reach and local presence, HSBC Advance provides individuals with a unique first step to building and managing their financial well-being that they can customize to suit their own personal financial needs.”

HSBC Advance includes an unlimited chequing account, a high interest savings account, an HSBC Advance MasterCard, and a personal line of credit – all with no monthly fees, preferential rates, and global reach. It also offers international services for those clients who work or travel overseas, providing clients with emergency cash anywhere around the world as needed, and a service called Global View, which will enable access to view and make real-time fund transfers online among each of their HSBC global accounts, at a preferred rate.

On the planning side, clients may access tools and advice to help invest their money through HSBC InvestDirect, which allows them to make and manage their own investments online. Clients may also take advantage of expert advice and straightforward products designed to provide unparalleled access to global markets.

HSBC Advance is now available in over 20 countries, with more to come by the end of 2010. HSBC Bank Canada also offers specialized solutions for immigrants. Specifically, HSBC Advance for Newcomers enables new Canadians to settle in faster and build up their banking and local credit history sooner.