TORONTO, May 15, 2017 – HomeEquity Bank, provider of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage™, today published the findings of its proprietary research study “The Home Stretch: A Review of Debt and Home Ownership Among Canadian Seniors.”

The results of the national study outline increasingly troubling trends: as Canada’s population ages, the ability to retain and maintain a home is progressively compromised by record household debt levels, modest long-term savings, the decline of defined-benefit pensions and extended life expectancies.

The data indicates that 91 per cent of Canadians over the age of 65 say that staying in their home is important while, at the same time, only 78 per cent have any savings and investments with 40 per cent of those having less than $100,000 set aside.

Other relevant statistics from the study include:

  • 77 per cent say the Canada Pension Plan is their primary expected source of income
  • 73 per cent will rely on Old Age Security
  • 57 per cent have RRSPs to draw upon
  • 48 per cent have a work pension
  • 48 per cent have savings

The data also shows that 15 per cent of Canadian seniors have a mortgage (compared with 34 per cent of non-seniors) and 17 per cent have car loans (compared with 34 per cent of non-seniors). But when it comes to unsecured lines of credit (LOC) that gap narrows: 30 per cent of seniors carry this form of debt compared with 33 per cent of non-seniors, and 10 per cent of Canadian seniors have a home equity line of credit (HELOC) compared with 9 per cent of non-seniors.

“HomeEquity Bank has long called for an honest, national conversation regarding the financial health of Canadian seniors. This study further solidifies that need,” said Steven Ranson, president and CEO of HomeEquity Bank. “But it’s not all doom and gloom. Canadians are privileged to be living in a country of relatively strong and stable fiscal health. We must use this type of data as a foundation for launching an informed, national conversation with Canadian seniors. We can’t rely on a status quo approach. Collectively, we will have to think about finances, home ownership and debt in new, strategic ways to ensure seniors can plan for a stable, worry-free retirement.”

Read the complete study.