Canada, provinces, map, red

One-in-three Canadians (33%) would fail a financial emergency stress test, such as a car repair or vet bill, according to survey results published Tuesday by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC).

That number rises to 45% in Atlantic Canada and drops to 28% in Alberta.

Leger conducted the online survey of 1,527 Canadians between Sept. 28 and Oct. 1 in advance of Financial Literacy Month and Canada’s 10th annual Financial Planning Week (taking place between Nov. 18-24).

The poll takes the pulse of Canadians on a series of financial questions and breaks down responses on a province-by-province comparative. It also examines how likely Canadians are to engage professional financial planning guidance.

“The results of the FPSC survey bring to light some provincial differences regarding the financial habits and intentions of Canadians,” says Kelley Keehn, author, personal finance educator and FPSC’s consumer advocate, in a statement.

Among the poll’s key findings:

> Twenty-eight per cent of respondents are not confident they will achieve their financial life goals. Those living in Manitoba and Saskatchewan exceed the national average where 36% report a lack of confidence; however, that number drops to 24% for those living in Ontario.

> Sixty-two per cent say they rarely or never maximize their RRSP contribution each month based on eligible amounts.

> Twenty-five per cent of respondents say they take advantage of an employer RRSP savings matching program, but 64% do not have access to such a program.

> Despite these trends, 65% of respondents say they have not engaged the services of a professional financial planner. That number is highest in Atlantic Canada (76%) and Quebec (73%), and lowest in Alberta (57%) and British Columbia (58%).

Respondents give several reasons for not seeking out the services of a planner. Specifically, 50% of respondents say they feel their portfolio is too small to engage a planner. Other reasons include: not knowing who to trust (22%); engaging a planner is to confusing and overwhelming (20%); and embarrassment with their financial situation (19%).

The full results of FPSC’s Cross-Country Checkup survey can be found here.