Financial Literacy and YOU
78% of Canadians believe they are financially literate, but the reality paints a much different picture. We've now become the most indebted nation in the world, with Canadian households taking on record consumer debt. Canadian households owed $174 for every $100 in disposable income through the first quarter of 2017 and rising interest rates continue to add extra pressure for Canadian families.
Experts have tied our debt-loading to people taking advantage of our past low interest rates (which was generally a good idea) without taking into account the actual cost of the debt (which was not such a good idea). Financial missteps like these can have a lasting impact. That's why when you're making a financial decision, making sure you understand basic financial principles at play and how they will impact you over the long-term is critical.
At OPB, we believe that retirement literacy is a vital element of overall financial literacy because managing your daily finances and making secure investments in your future, are both closely related. We understand that navigating financial decisions can be very stressful, which is why we're committed to helping our members navigate pension decisions and strengthen their financial planning skills.
So, to kick off Financial Literacy Month, we've put together some suggestions to help you strengthen your financial knowledge.
- Build your knowledge. Read up on the topic. There are a lot of great books, blogs and articles out there that can help you better understand concepts and issues. Did you know OPB News features general financial planning articles in addition to updates about your pension? We also offer financial and retirement planning workshops with our Client Education Officers and in-house Certified Financial Planners.
- Let your goals be your guide. Setting financial goals and tracking your progress will drive you to learn and persevere. This is why we offer our Retirement Planner tool which helps members create a customized, comprehensive snapshot of your overall retirement picture.
- Know your current financial situation. Keep track of your spending by making a budget and make sure you understand key personal financial documents including your pay stubs, investment statements, annual pension statements, loans, Wills and Powers of Attorney.
Find out how financially savvy you are compared to your fellow Canadians here: https://itools-ioutils.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/FLSAT-OAELF/star-comm-eng.aspx.