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Just seven per cent of Canadians say saving for retirement is their top financial priority in 2018, according to a new survey by CIBC.

Men are nearly twice as likely than women to prioritize retirement savings, with nine and five per cent, respectively, citing this as a priority in the new year. And with only 16 per cent of respondents agreeing they actually achieved their top financial goal in 2017, 67 per cent say they need to get a better handle on their finances in 2018.

Read: Majority of Canadians worried about level of retirement savings: survey

“While debt repayment is still the No. 1 priority, Canadians recognize that it’s just as important to focus on building savings and growing your nest egg,” said Jennifer Hubbard, managing director of financial planning and advice at CIBC, in a press release.

“With inflation outpacing average earnings and the risk of outliving our assets, it’s essential to set out your short- and long-term financial goals in a comprehensive financial plan that strikes the right balance between paying down debt and growing savings.”

Starting the new year off on a promising foot, 23 per cent of respondents said they intend to prioritize savings by setting up automatic transfers into a savings or investment account. This is up significantly compared to the 12 per cent of Canadians who said the same last year.

“While it’s critical to pay down high-interest debt first, what’s going to be important in the year ahead is how quickly Canadians can prioritize savings and set up regular and automatic transfers towards their goals — whether that’s to accelerate debt repayment or save for retirement,” said Hubbard.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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