closeup portrait, dumbfounded, flabbergasted man reading tablet
atic12/123RF

A large portion of Canadians are not doing as well financially as they once hoped, according to a recent study.

A new Ipsos survey finds 48% of Canadians with a household income of $100,000 or more aren’t as wealthy as they thought they’d be at this stage of their lives.

But, in spite of their perceived shortfall, members of that same group are still largely confident they’ll retire in comfort, with 73% saying they believe they’ll hit their financial targets before retirement — even though they know precious little about wealth management.

“This optimism seems to be at odds with their confidence when it comes to aspects of wealth-management topics,” said Toronto-based RBC Wealth Management, which sponsored the survey, in a release.

The research found that 78% of respondents who aren’t as wealthy as they’d hoped to be agreed that it’s hard to know what financial information to trust. Seventy-six per cent of that group said it’s difficult to stay on top of developments in financial markets and 71% said they weren’t sure how to use strategies to minimize their taxes.

These respondents also largely agreed that it would be challenging to ensure they don’t outlive their assets during retirement (70%), and 66% didn’t fully understand the use of a financial plan.

“Things like tax strategies, insurance and retirement planning play a key role in building wealth today but I’m not surprised that so many respondents find them challenging,” Howard Kabot, vice-president of financial planning with RBC Wealth Management Services, said in the release.

This lack of financial literacy presents an opportunity for advisors: the survey found that three quarters of all respondents — not just those who aren’t as wealthy as they thought they’d be — “said they value the expertise of a financial expert.”

Albertans less optimistic

Research published by ATB Financial on Thursday painted a less rosy picture for people in Alberta.

This research found that 65% of Albertans are concerned they won’t have enough money when they retire — and that includes 48% of baby boomer respondents.

ATB polled respondents from multiple generations, and found that millennials were most likely to feel that money is important to their happiness (72%), followed by Generation Z, the generation that follows millennials (70%), Generation X (65%), and baby boomers (62%).

The survey also found that 61% of Gen X Albertans believe they are worse off than the previous generation, followed by 57% of millennials, 40% of Gen Z and 24% of baby boomers.

Read the survey results from RBC Wealth Management and the research from ATB Financial.