November 24, 2015 / Published 9:00 AM EST / Alyssa Charles

Be financially ready for whatever life brings

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada, which means it’s the perfect time to evaluate your financial well-being and strengthen your knowledge of a sometimes intimidating topic.

Being financially literate is more than your knowledge of what inflation is, or knowing how much to put aside to retire comfortably. It’s about having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.

Currently, only 28% of Canadians are financially ready1 when it comes to retirement, savings and debt. In a 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, only 7.1% of Canadian adults considered themselves “very knowledgeable” financially2  (See Figure 1).

Although Canadians are earning poor scores for financial literacy, younger Canadians are optimistic about their financial futures. 43% of affluent millennials surveyed believe they’ll have more than enough income when they retire; however, saving for retirement is low on their list of financial priorities3.  And, 52% of respondents say they’re in better financial position than they were two years ago3, indicating that Canadians are making a conscious effort to improve their financial well-being.

Figure 1

Be ready for whatever life brings. The following series of tips and checklists can help you prepare financially for some of life’s most important stages: 


If you plan on, or are currently raising a family, your financial well-being is a top priority. Here are five things you can do right now to prepare for your family’s financial future.

Better safe than sorry

You never know when you’re going to need some extra money. An emergency fund can come in handy in any household. Expect the unexpected with these four tips.

Needs vs. wants

Whether you’re saving for a home, wedding or dream vacation, your financial literacy plays a big part in helping you save. Use these five tips to help you figure out how to balance current financial responsibilities with long-term wants and needs.


Retirement is about so much more than leaving a career behind. It’s about making the most of the opportunities that lie ahead. Remember, it’s never too early – or too late to save for retirement. Get ready with this checklist.

Be your own boss

Have dreams of running your own business? Make those dreams come true. Use these six tips to help you on your journey to becoming a business owner.

Are you ready?

Discover how prepared you are to reach your long-term financial goals and handle life’s changes by taking our Readiness Quiz.

Manulife’s Financial Wellness Study – 2015 Benchmark.

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