APR 19: BEST FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE

April 19, 2021

How will Canadians spend their $180 billion pandemic nest egg?

While the pandemic, now into its second year, has been brutal for most people’s finances, some of us – for instance, those able to keep working – have experienced a savings boom of historic proportions.

According to a recent article in US News and World Report, Canadians are sitting on a record $180 billion – what the article calls a “pandemic nest egg.”

“The pandemic put more than three million Canadians out of work at the depth of the crisis. With travel and social outings on hold, spending plunged, while stimulus and government aid boosted disposable income and the household savings rate soared,” the article tells us.

“A year later, most Canadians are back at work and many have saved like never before,” the article reports. In fact, the piece adds, by late winter 2021 a record number of new jobs had been added to the Canadian economy.

So what are people planning to spend this money on?

According to the article, there’s a long to-do list. After all, the publication advises us, “if 15 per cent of the cash hoard is spent through 2023, it would speed up Canada’s recovery.”

The article mentions backyard renos, domestic (i.e., within Canada) travel plans for the summer, and “sales of pleasure vehicles” all being up.

A Harley-Davidson dealership in Toronto says sales are up 50 per cent over last year, the article reports. As well, the article says, people expect to let their hair down a little bit once pandemic restrictions are over.

“Canadians are getting ready to return to restaurants, bars and theatres once vaccinations become widespread,” the article predicts. “Generally, when people buy clothing, it’s almost like they’re preparing for better days,” states RBC economist Rannella Billy-Ochieng in the article. She says there is “pent up demand” for restaurants and bars, in person movies, live theatre and of course, travel.

A whopping two-thirds of Canadians hope to travel once the coast is clear, the article explains.

Let’s hope some of us are able to hang on to a bit of the “nest egg” for our retirement.

According to the Edmonton Journal, research from RBC shows that “70 per cent of Canadians felt they are behind in saving for retirement.”

The article says only about 14 per cent of Albertans surveyed feel their cash flow has improved during the pandemic – 33 per cent say it got worse. The article says that the pandemic and its financial repercussions represent a good reason for people to seek financial advice on managing debt, cash flow, and retirement savings.

Saving for retirement is not always top of mind, especially during what is becoming an unprecedented national public health crisis. But even if you have to take small steps to start your plan, you’ll appreciate the effort later on. If your retirement savings program has stalled, or needs to get started, an excellent program to consider is the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. SPP has helped deliver retirement security for 35 years – check them out today!

Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.

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