Why Financial Health and Resilience Matters
As the Government seeks to build a resilient and equitable Canada through the pandemic and beyond, and Financial Institutions seek to support the needs of their customers and communities through the pandemic and beyond, there is a growing need to focus on consumers’ and small businesses’ financial health and resilience. This also positively impacts families, well-being, communities and our economy.
Our Index and FHI studies highlight that financial stress, and financial vulnerability, is a mainstream issue for Canada, despite it being one of the richest countries in the world. As highlighted in our October 2020 Index report, 72% of Canadians – over 18 million adults – are not financially resilient. And there are many populations facing financial vulnerability and hardship, including those impacted by job losses or reduced hours as a result of the pandemic, low-income Canadians, Canadians with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, renters, those struggling with debt and those facing financial hardship as a result of unplanned life events such as divorce, disability or death.
Defining financial health, resilience and wellness
Within the overall construct of financial well-being
There are three inter-related constructs that we define and measure through our Index and studies:
Financial health is about your ability to balance your financial needs of today with those of tomorrow, and get through times of financial hardship.
Through our FHI studies and Index, here we measure many consumer and financial behaviours, such as the extent to which households plan ahead for upcoming expenses, save towards longer term goals, or manage debt. These behaviours span the spectrum of daily financial management, debt/ credit management; saving planning and investing, and protection.
Financial resilience is about your ability to get through financial hardship, financial stressors or ‘shocks’ as a result of unplanned life events.
Here we measure different aspects that impact households’ resilience or cause financial vulnerability, including access to social capital in times of financial hardship, or available liquid savings buffers.
Financial wellness is about your emotional peace of mind in terms of your financial situation and current and future financial obligations. The opposite is financial stress.
Here we measure many financial stress and debt stress indicators and aspects, including related to household’s financial stress over their current and future financial obligations; extent to which households are struggling with their debt levels or needing to resort to predatory lending to get through; and the extent to which financial stress is impacting physical health, mental health, productivity and performance at work, relationships and/or causing a sense of isolation.
In addition to many consumer and financial behaviours, we also measure people’s confidence in their financial decisions; access (and barriers) to financial education, service and help; whether Canadians have accepted Government Covid-19 relief or not and/or mortgage or loan deferral programs from their Financial Institution and many other aspects that impact Canadians’ financial health, wellness, resilience and financial well-being.
Your ability to balance your financial needs of today with those of tomorrow, and get through times of financial hardship.
Your ability to get through financial hardship, financial stressors or ‘shocks’ as a result of unplanned life events.
Your emotional peace of mind in terms of your financial situation and current and future financial obligations. The opposite is financial stress.
Cross-sector collaboration can help build a financially resilient, inclusive and equitable Canada.
Financial health and resilience is vital to overall emotional and physical wellbeing, family stability and people achieving their life goals – not just for today but for generations to come. Cross-sector collaboration can help address complex issues and support the financial resilience, and overall resilience of Canadian households, businesses and communities.
Seymour Consulting is building collaborative partnerships to help drive positive impact at scale. Please contact if you are interested in being a partner or would like to explore collaboration opportunities.