Canada Life examines family influence on decision making and long-term planning

Canada Life today launches a new chapter in the ‘Long Term Close Up’ campaign called ‘Families and their Futures’ which examines the psychology surrounding how family members impact decision-making and long-term planning. Over half (54%) of the UK adults surveyed1 as part of the campaign say their family has influenced their long-term thinking, while a further 46% believe it is the role of the family to help shape long-term decision making.


The study reveals a major opportunity for advisers to leverage the power of family influence to improve the adviser-client relationship and build better engagement. This is based on a significant discrepancy between how people share their goal of a good retirement with family and a financial adviser. Two-thirds (66%) have shared this vision with their family, while less than a quarter (23%) have communicated this to a financial adviser. 


Lara Bealing, Marketing Director, Canada Life UK, comments: “Despite there being a plethora of factors influencing everyday decision-making, when examining long-term thinking, families are the single biggest influence. By recognising the important role families play in this form of thinking, there is an opportunity for advisers to leverage the emotional connections and psychology that sits behind this to build better engagement with their clients and encourage a longer-term mindset to financial planning.” 


‘Families and their Futures’ also shines a light on how someone’s dependents can drastically change the course of long-term financial planning, as people strike a better balance between the here and now, and the future. The campaign, which explores the factors behind plans for leaving a legacy, reveals people were most likely to want their children to receive their financial legacy, with millennials most likely to leave it to their grandchildren. These different priorities present advisers with important considerations around future intergenerational wealth transfer.


Lara Bealing continued: “The ‘traditional’ family structure has changed significantly in recent years and financial planning needs to evolve to reflect this. As advisers are working in an ever changing world, we are helping them on this journey by challenging the way the industry approaches long-term thinking by arming them with new insights so they are equipped to encourage different types of conversations to better understand their clients’ goals and needs at all stages of life. Recognising the important role families play in shifting long-term thinking is a crucial part of this.”


Further details on Long Term Close Up can be found here: 



  1. The research was conducted in partnership with Savanta and encompassed three phases:
  • An consumer online qualitative community conducted for seven days in June with 24 consumers. Each day different topics were covered via written commentary, videos and polling, along with some group discussions
  • 15 interviews with industry experts (advisers, investment banks and institutional pension decision makers) between the 5th & 30th July 2021. Each interview lasted between 45-60 minutes. 
  • An online survey of 3000 consumers running from 27th July to 12th August 2021. 
  1. The psychological exploration of long-term thinking has been conducted by Dr Simon Moore and his team of psychologists at Innovation Bubble.