Financial Security Among Veterans in Canada

Financial Security Among Veterans in Canada

Year published

Financial security is a key contributor to well-being. Veterans Affairs Canada aims to offer programs and services that support financial security among Veterans.

What is this Research About?

Veteran Affairs Canada has a Well-being Surveillance Framework that includes two indicators for measuring financial security: satisfaction with finances and the low income rate. This study looked at those indicators to determine if they are the most appropriate measures to use, especially since the low income rate remained steady over three cycles of the Department’s Life After Service Studies (LASS) while satisfaction with finances declined.

What did the Researchers Do?

The researchers examined the measures of financial security in Canada and among Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans. They also reviewed the literature on factors affecting financial satisfaction and the importance of financial satisfaction to life satisfaction. A variety of quantitative sources from Statistics Canada, Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada were used.

What did the Researchers Find?

A literature review of 20 studies found:

  • Satisfaction with finances is positively related to life satisfaction
  • Income and wealth appear to have very little to do with life satisfaction
  • Several factors (e.g., education, income, employment, job satisfaction and health) were found to have a positive relationship to financial satisfaction
  • Factors that had a negative impact on financial satisfaction included divorce, unemployment, financial stress, low risk tolerance and inability to meet basic needs with current income

When the identified factors were examined against LASS data for Veterans released since 1998, researchers found:

  • Lower levels of financial satisfaction among Veterans were related to lower education, divorce, unemployment, attending school, dissatisfaction with work and poor health
  • Declines in satisfaction rates were the most significant among middle-income Veterans and those attending school
  • Improving financial literacy, employment rates and employment satisfaction could help improve Veterans’ financial satisfaction

Overall, the researchers found support for keeping both rate of low income and satisfaction with finances as indicators of financial security as they each measure different aspects. Both indicators are being used in many surveys, including ones in which Veterans are identified.


MacLean MB, Pound T, Sweet J, Van Til L . Financial Security Among Veterans in Canada, Research Directorate, Veterans Affairs Canada, Charlottetown. 13 November 2019: p.28.