Cropped shot of a cheerful elderly woman hugging her husband who's in a wheelchair at home during the day

Despite the market volatility and economic uncertainty spawned by Covid-19, an “overwhelming majority” of Canadians are confident they’ll stay afloat in the short term, according to a poll commissioned by Edward Jones.

The poll, conducted by Leger Research, found that 72% of respondents said they were financially prepared to “weather the storm” in the short term. Older respondents (aged 55+) were most confident, with 85% saying they were prepared, while younger respondents (aged 18–34) were the least confident at 37%.

Respondents who had financial advisors were particularly optimistic — 86% reported that they were confident in the advice they were receiving during the pandemic.

In spite of respondents’ overall confidence, 41% reported that they were worried about paying for basic needs, such as groceries. Respondents aged 45–54 were the most worried (51%), while respondents aged 55+ were the least worried (29%).

More than half (53%) of respondents said their retirement savings had taken a hit in the wake of Covid-19. Respondents aged 55+ were the most likely to say their retirement savings had been impacted (55%). Many young people were also affected; 46% of respondents aged 18–34 saw their retirement savings drop.

Diminished retirement savings, the survey found, was a combination of market volatility and respondents dipping into their savings after being laid off or having their salaries reduced.

The poll found that 42% of respondents had seen their salaries reduced. Younger respondents were most likely to be affected; 56% of those aged 18–34 reported a reduction in salary. These respondents were also the most worried about being able to pay their bills (31%) or their mortgages or rent (30%).

Leger surveyed 1,515 people online from April 24 to April 26. Online polls cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.