Money management in the time of COVID

by | Oct 22, 2020 | Take 5 Articles

When it comes to personal finances, COVID-19 has led to widespread changes in status. As many would expect, it’s resulted in a decrease or loss of work for many Canadians. But for Canadians who continue to work, either at home or with health and safety measures in place at work, recent finding about their financial outlook may be surprising.

STUDY by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds that the percentage of Canadians saying their financial situation is “good” or “great” has risen seven points from early April, from 73% to 80%. The same study found that just over half of respondents don’t think this is an ideal time to make major purchases such as a vehicle or a home.

Put this together and it’s a window of opportunity for plans to re-engage members in their group savings plans. You can renew your members’ interest in their group savings plan in a few ways:

More than just retirement

Retirement is the end goal for many traditional plans, but you can make your plan work for members at any life stage.

Student-debt programs can help recent graduates by enabling them to save for their retirement and pay down their student debt at the same time. Adding an RESP means parents can save for their child’s education fund through their group plan.

And with more Canadians changing their spending habits, you might consider offering a budgeting or money-tracking tool. That way they’re set up on the right track as we move into a post-pandemic world.

Refresh financial know-how

Work with your advisor and provider to find the areas of most benefit for your members. The pandemic is a serious matter, but your members are interested in keeping their financial literacy up to date. And it doesn’t need to be a lot of work for you. You can connect your members to a number of useful resources. For example, Chartered Professional Accountants Canada offers a FINANCIAL WELLNESS GUIDE and questionnaire, of which Canada Life is a proud national development sponsor.

Be ready for the unexpected

In times of uncertainty, we start to realize that we may be more vulnerable to sudden illness or disability than we used to think. Your advisor or provider can help you find ways to make optional and affordable life, critical illness and disability insurance available in your plan—without adding to your work or the cost of your plan.

Finally, it’s important to understand that, while more Canadians feel that their DEBT SITUATION has improved since the start of the pandemic, many could still benefit from debt management support. For example, the CREDIT COUNSELLING SOCIETY offers debt counseling, which is free to Canada Life members until Dec. 31, 2020.

As we approach 2021, we know that COVID will continue to bring many changes for Canadians. Now more than ever, the time is right to help your members improve their financial well-being.

This article is brought to you by Canada Life, sponsor of The Benefits Alliance Group Take 5 for Health Benefits newsletter and website.

This article is part of The Benefits Alliance Take 5 for Health Benefits. Take 5 is a quarterly initiative that provides a deeper look a the employee benefits space by providing examples, research and case studies on what’s working for employers in Canada.