Asset resilience of Canadians, 2019

Canadians were more asset resilient just prior to the pandemic than they were at the turn of the millennium. That resilience continues to be tested as we enter the second year of the pandemic.

For the purposes of this article, a household is asset resilient when it has liquid assets that are at least equal to the after-tax, low-income measure (LIM-AT) for three months.

To be deemed asset resilient in 2019, a person living alone would require liquid assets of approximately $6,000. A household of four would require $12,000 or $3,000 per person to meet the minimum LIM-AT threshold for three months.

Recent Statistics Canada data have shown that savings rose sharply during the pandemic, despite the economic upheaval, and that those in the lower income quintiles have seen their income rise as a result of government support programs, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Although the data in this release predate the pandemic, they provide an important benchmark to monitor the economic well-being of Canadian households during a time of unprecedented change.



Cross Canada Check-up (updated March 2021)

Canada ranks consistently as one of the best places to live in the world and one of the wealthiest. When it comes to looking at the financial health of Canadian households, however, we are often forced to rely on incomplete measures, like income alone, or aggregate national statistics that tell us little about the distribution of financial health and vulnerability in our neighbourhoods, communities or provinces/territories.

The purpose of this report is to examine the financial heath and vulnerability of Canadian households in different provinces and territories using a new composite index of household financial health, the Neighbourhood Financial Health Index or NFHI.

This report is an update of Cross Canada Check-up: Provincial/territorial findings from Canada's Neighbourhood Financial Health Index published in 2018. 



Making Safety Affordable: Intimate Partner Violence is an Asset-Building Issue

This brief explores three existing unmet needs that contribute to survivors’ inability to build wealth: money, tailored asset-building support, and safe and responsive banking and credit services. Within each identified need, specific issues facing survivors, strategic actions in response to those issues, as well as innovative ideas and existing promising practices to help funders take action to prioritize survivor wealth are discussed.



Lifting the Weight: Consumer Debt Solutions Framework

Aspen Financial Security Program’s the Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative (EPIC) has identified seven specific consumer debt problems that result in decreased financial insecurity and well-being. Four of the identified problems are general to consumer debt: households’ lack of savings or financial cushion, restricted access to existing high-quality credit for specific groups of consumers, exposure to harmful loan terms and features, and detrimental delinquency, default, and collections practices. The other three problems relate to structural features of three specific types of debt: student loans, medical debt, and government fines and fees.

This report presents a solutions framework to address all seven of these problems. The framework includes setting one or more tangible goals to achieve for each problem, and, for each goal, the solutions different sectors (financial services providers, governments, non-profits, employers, educational or medical institutions) can pursue.



Dimensions of Poverty Hub

The Dimensions of Poverty Hub, sponsored by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), enables Canadians to track progress on poverty reduction. The updates as of September 2020 include poverty statistics based upon the new 2018-base Market Basket Measure (MBM).



Asset building toolkit

The ability to build assets allows an individual or family to meet long-term financial goals and create economic stability for the future. This toolkit contains resources on goal setting, action planning and information on financial products and government supports that can help with building long-term savings.

We are grateful to Family Services Greater Vancouver in British Columbia for their content consultation support.

Worksheet resources in this toolkit are available as fillable PDFs. Please open with Adobe Acrobat Reader for full functionality.

Updated July 5, 2021: Employment and Social Development Canada resources for the Canada Learning Bond