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Canadians no better off financially in 2013

Canadians no better off financially in 2013New polymer $5 and $10 bank notes alongside the $20, $50, and $100 notes are shown during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Sun Life Financial says 2013 wasn't a great year financially for most Canadians.An Ipsos Reid survey conducted in November for Sun Life found that, overall, 57 per cent of Canadians felt they were not any better off financially than they were a year ago.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

TORONTO - Sun Life Financial (TSX:SLF) says 2013 wasn't a great year financially for most Canadians.

An Ipsos Reid survey conducted in November for Sun Life found that, overall, 57 per cent of Canadians felt they were not any better off financially than they were a year ago.

Those feelings were even stronger among women and those aged 55 and older, with 61 per cent of both groups saying their financial position had not improved year over year.

On the flip side, 38 per cent of those surveyed did say their finances had improved compared with a year ago.

Albertans were most likely to say they felt better off, at 47 per cent, followed by those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at 45 per cent, and Atlantic Canadians at 43 per cent.

Quebecers were least likely, with 63 per cent saying their financial position was no better than a year ago.

"It's concerning that a majority of Canadians aren't feeling better off financially than they were last year as we head into a holiday season where we tend to spend more and save less," Sun Life president Kevin Dougherty said of the results.

"Canadians can take steps toward feeling better by putting a financial plan in writing and perhaps consider it as a new year's resolution."

As it is, the survey found only 36 per cent of Canadians contribute to an RRSP, although that number rose to 50 per cent among those who felt their financial situation had improved.

The Ipsos Reid survey interviewed 1,239 Canadians online between Nov. 25 and Nov. 29. The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

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