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Economic Viewpoint

A Look at Household Assets in Quebec: Their Room for Manoeuvre is There Sufficient?

November 29, 2017
François Dupuis, Vice-President and Chief Economist • Hélène Bégin, Senior Economist • Danny Bélanger, Economist

There has been much focus recently on household debt loads and on various indicators to better assess some of those households’ vulnerability. Aside from loans, the real estate assets of owner households have also swelled over the past 15 years or so owing to rising home prices. During that time, how have Quebecers’ financial assets changed? More than half of households have less than $25,000 in savings. Not surprisingly, the financial assets of those aged 65 and over are higher than those of other age groups, but are limited to an average of almost $150,000 per household (not including the pension funds of employers). Many 65+ households now have loans to repay, which eats into part of the capital they have accumulated. Do they have sufficient savings to have a decent income on retirement? A 65-year-old person can expect to live at least 20 years, far more than previous generations. A longer life and especially an extended retirement period require, of course, additional savings.