Medical solution health care concept as a doctor walking on a red tightrope or highwire around a group of tangled wires as a symbol of challenges in insurance and the risk in illness treatment for patients.

With the federal budget announcement coming on March 19, now is a good time to talk to clients about their own budgets, say organizations Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and Credit Canada.

Many Canadians are precariously indebted and living on the financial edge, a survey by the two groups found. One in five respondents said they’d have to liquidate assets this year to deal with their debt. And almost half of Canadians “are within $200 of not being able to pay their bills.”

According to the survey, two-thirds of Canadians with debt anticipated taking on more in 2019, including new (or increased) credit card balances (23%), increased lines of credit (15%), car loans (13%) or mortgage debt (12%).

People under 55 were more likely to be looking at new forms of debt (67%), while half of people over 55 were considering it.

Men were more likely than women to be in a position in which they need to liquidate assets to pay down debt (24% versus 14% of women), as were people with children under 18.