A new poll from TD Waterhouse reveals that 61% of Canadians ages 45 to 64 don’t have a formal financial plan in place.

The poll’s results were released Thursday to mark Financial Planning Week.

When asked why they don’t have a financial plan, 50% said that while they think it’s necessary, they just haven’t gotten around to creating one.

“A financial plan is the best way to take an in-depth look at your current financial situation and help you prepare for the future,” says Lee Bennett, senior vice president, TD Waterhouse financial planning. “But, it’s also important to be financially prepared for unexpected events.”

Forty-three per cent of Canadians polled said their financial plan has fallen off track in the past due to an unexpected event or to cover expenses for which they hadn’t saved.

The most common reasons included: job loss (34%), new car or unexpected car repair (27%), unplanned housing costs (25%) or health-related expenses (16%).

Thirty-four per cent of those who fell behind said they worked with an advisor to help get them back on track. More than two thirds (69%) revised their spending or investing, and 39% said they had to revise their goals.

The majority (77%) of those who have fallen off track financially have this advice to share with those in a similar situation: have an emergency fund in place for unexpected expenses.

According to the poll, even considering recent market volatility, 75% of Canadians with a financial plan or investments feel at least somewhat confident in their savings and investments. And 76% of those who worked with an advisor feel that, because they did, they worry less about market volatility.

Half of Canadians with a financial plan review their plan once a year to ensure it still works toward their goals and make updates accordingly.

An online survey was conducted from September 28 to October 3among a sample of 1,207 Canadians aged 45-64 who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error on the full base — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 2.73%.