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Paying debt is top financial priority for Canadians in 2015: CIBC poll

A new poll by CIBC says paying down debt will be the top financial priority for Canadians in 2015.

It is the fifth year in a row that debt repayment came out as the top concern in the annual survey, which also suggests retirement planning is increasingly taking a back seat to more immediate financial needs.

CANADIANS’ TOP FINANCIAL PRIORITIES IN 2015

  • Paying down debt: 22%
  • Building savings: 12%
  • Paying bills or getting by: 10%
  • Managing day-to-day spending or budgeting: 9%
  • Retirement planning: 5%

Canadians nearing retirement age have significantly shifted their focus to reducing debt. Among 45-54 year olds, 31 percent said debt repayment was their top financial priority for 2015, compared to just 16 percent in last year's poll. Among 55-64 year olds, 25 percent said debt repayment was their number one financial priority, compared to 14 percent last year.

"We've seen debt repayment close to doubling in importance for age groups that would typically be in their peak retirement savings years, but it is important that they don't put off retirement planning indefinitely," says Christina Kramer, executive vice president of retail and business banking at CIBC.

The results were from a telephone survey conducted by Neilsen with 1,014 Canadians between Nov. 13 and 17.

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