If you're living paycheque to paycheque, it's possible that you've been managing your finances by yourself. In fact, not seeking financial advice from outside sources is something most financially vulnerable people have in common, according to recent findings from the TD Financial Health Index (FHI).
The FHI surveyed the overall "financial health" of more than 10,000 Canadians from across the country. Among the report's findings was a shocking reality—39 per cent of Canadians surveyed are struggling with some or all aspects of their finances. The report also found links between financial, physical and mental health, as those who struggle with their finances also tend to have higher levels of stress, worry over debt, and have lower confidence in their financial future.
READ: National survey reveals which Canadians are most/least financially healthy
It's never too late to ask for help planning your financial future, and you shouldn't feel like you're doing it all alone. Here are five reasons why you should consider getting help to optimize your financial health and well-being, whether it's making an appointment with a financial advisor, talking to your bank, or tapping into trusted external resources for advice.
You belong to a group more likely to be financially vulnerable
While we recommend that everyone should consider getting help to optimize their financial health and well-being, according to TD's research findings, if you are a woman or gender non-binary, are a member of the LGBTQ2+ community, have a disability, or are Indigenous, your financial health is more likely to be at risk. Other financially vulnerable groups include: unmarried Gen Xers and millennials with or without kids living in a rented home, those with lower levels of education, or those who work from home, freelance or are students.
You could be over or underestimating your financial situation
Seeking financial advice can help you build a realistic budget while saving for the future, as you might be looking at your financial situation either through rose-tinted spectacles or with the glass half full. According to the report, 29 per cent of Canadians surveyed are more likely to overestimate their financial health, compared to 14 per cent who tend to underestimate it.
You live in an area that is rural, going through a recession or has high levels of unemployment
Rural residents are often less financially healthy than urban and suburban dwellers. The report findings showed that Alberta is the least financially healthy province, while residents of Atlantic Canada were most likely to have only two months or less of savings. Statistically speaking, you may need some extra help with budgeting and planning for the future if you reside in these areas.
You want to start a family, buy a home or achieve other significant milestones
Seeking advice in real time can help you at every stage of life's journey, including major milestones where you might need help qualifying for the best mortgage rate or saving for your child's education. If you're a millennial or Gen Zer, you're more likely to have student loans, or have moved into a new home or a different part of the country—or even the world. The expenses incurred during these big milestones are significant contributors to lower financial health scores, so speaking with a trusted financial advisor ahead of time can help you better prepare financially.
You set and want to achieve your financial goals
Do you know your credit score and the steps you can take to increase it? Could you use a primer on protecting yourself from fraud? How about tips on saving up for a down payment on a home or budgeting for a trip to your dream destination? TD offers a wealth of online and face-to-face resources, like the TD Help and Advice Centres, that can be personalized to your unique situation and help you get on your way to achieving your financial goals. And programs like Money Matters and Your Money can help you develop the financial literacy skills needed to make financial decisions with confidence.
To learn more about TD's commitment to financial education and literacy, visit our website or speak to a TD Financial Advisor.