Financial Literacy is an issue that sometimes gets ignored. Maybe partly because most of us are a little bit financially literate. Very few of us are fluent though!!
It’s useful here to look at a few Canadian statistics. (Don’t worry there will not be too many!)
In 2014 a Canadian Financial Capability Survey was undertaken for Statistics Canada. According to this survey:
- One in three Canadian adults (33.8%) were not preparing financially for retirement either on their own or through an employer pension plan.
- Almost 6 in 10 (59.6%) Canadian adults did not know how much money they would need to save to maintain their desired standard of living during retirement.
- 3 in 10 (29.5%) Canadian adults were “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that their household income at the time of retirement would be enough for them to maintain their desired standard of living.
- Only 7.1% of Canadian adults considered themselves “very knowledgeable” financially. Among women, 5.5% considered themselves “very knowledgeable” compared with 8.7% of men.
Certainly this survey continues to show that at least by these measures the levels of Financial Literacy in Canada are low.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada summarized this rather well.
Financial literacy is having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions
- Knowledge – an understanding of personal and broader financial matters
- Skills – the ability to apply that financial knowledge in everyday life
- Confidence – the self-assurance to make important decisions
- Responsible financial decisions – the ability of individuals to use the knowledge, skills and confidence they have gained to make choices appropriate to their own circumstances.
They conclude that “Armed with financial knowledge, skills and confidence, Canadians are better able to make day-to-day choices about how to spend their money and stay on top of financial obligations”
At Parker Simone, we very much support these objectives and the Community Connect member volunteer program (which is the core program for the national network of CPA member volunteers to deliver in-person financial education sessions in their communities)
The Community Connect program has five programs currently, each for different audiences. Each of these has a number of modules
- Core adult program
- Eight sessions, including are you a good financial role model?, how to teach your kids about money, identity theft protection, effective tax strategies, 10 healthy habits of financial management, savings strategies, planning for your retirement and estate planning.
- New Canadian program:
- Two sessions that cover the basics of banking, managing credit and building wealth.
- Small business owner program:
- Eight sessions, including how to read a balance sheet, managing cash flow, how to get financing.
- Elementary and high school kids
- Seven interactive workshops for elementary students, including bartering, needs versus wants, savings and bank accounts, budgeting and expenses, earning income and goal setting. Four workshops for high schoolers, including budgeting and saving, good debt versus bad debt.
- Post-secondary students
- One session covering credit and debt.
As part of the program there are two upcoming events on Planning for Retirement. The objectives of the sessions are to:
- To understand that, as a member of the healthiest and longest-living population ever, government payments are not enough to fund retirement.
- Learn how to become proactive and start retirement planning early.
- Discover the benefits of using government tax deferral/saving opportunities, participating in company pension plans, and including non-registered investments as part of a retirement plan
The sessions are being presented by Pat Kenney of Parker Simone.
- 145 Annette Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6P 1P3
- Monday, March 21st 2016
- 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
- 1806 Islington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M9P 3N3
- Thursday, March 24th, 2016
- 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m
The Community Connect Program and its volunteers has the objective of increasing Financial literacy in communities across Canada
Pat, CPA, CA, is a senior manager with parker simone LLP and a ten year veteran of the public accounting space. He is a self-described student of all things business, accounting, taxation, personal finance and current events (thank you Steve Paikin and John Moore). Pat’s interest in sports and local organized runs was the driving force behind his existing stance as a fitness and wellness enthusiast at-large. Pat is active in community based volunteer work focused on financial literacy and societal integration of new immigrants.
Email: email@example.com | Phone: 905-271-7977