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 Only 58% of Canadians are either preparing, or are currently prepared financially in case they get sick. 
Despite making the connection between health and personal finances, many Canadians are unprepared financially to deal with a serious illness, according to a recent study from Sun Life Financial Inc.

The second annual Sun Life Canadian Health Index found that 90% Canadians anticipate a financial impact if they were to experience a major or chronic illness, with 53% saying that impact would be significant or perhaps permanent.

Despite these high awareness levels, only 58% of Canadians are either preparing, or are currently prepared financially in case they get sick. And only eight per cent of Canadians have a written financial plan that includes insurance and risk management — two elements that address the economic impact that could come with a major health issue.

“Canadians’ understanding of the connections between health and personal finances are hard-earned,” says Kevin Strain, senior vice president, individual insurance and investments, Sun Life Financial Canada. “We found the majority of Canadians have either personally experienced or have had someone close to them suffer a serious health issue. However, fewer than one in five said they had evaluated or re-visited their finances following the experience.”

Overall, many Canadians expect a long life. The average respondent anticipates living 81.5 years, almost a year more than the Statistics Canada reported average of 80.7 years1. Eighty-six per cent of Canadians agree that they will need to purchase health insurance to help fund their health care needs, as the public system will not be able to maintain current funding levels as the population ages and costs rise. Seven out of 10 respondents think they will probably need some form of long-term care as they age.

The 2011 Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ measures the attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of Canadians relating to their personal health. It’s based on an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between July 27 and September 12 on behalf of Sun Life Financial. For this survey, a sample of 3,233 Canadians aged 18 to 80 years old from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online.
By IE Staff
Nov 16, 2011


One Comment

  1. The majority of Canadians do not have a disability income source to offset a loss of income over an extended period of time.

    The costs of an illness which occur during the peak earning years of an individual will be consumed by the financial demands of a serious illness.

    This expenditure will divert savings from retirement to the fundinmg of the financial requirements of the illness.

    It begs the question: Why are people not insured for longterm disabilitis?

    Consult your financial advisor on 2 subjects: Disability Income and Critical Illness protection.

    Dan Zwicker
    Toronto, Canada

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