Paying down debt remains top financial priority of Canadians: poll

Paying down debt remains the top financial priority of Canadians, although a new poll says slightly fewer have made it their top pick compared with the previous two years. The poll, conducted for CIBC (TSX:CM) by Harris/Decima, found that overall 16 per cent of respondents said lowering debt was their No. 1 priority for 2014.

TORONTO — Paying down debt remains the top financial priority of Canadians, although a new poll says slightly fewer have made it their top pick compared with the previous two years.

The poll, conducted for CIBC (TSX:CM) by Harris/Decima, found that overall 16 per cent of respondents said lowering debt was their No. 1 priority for 2014.

That was down one percentage point from 17 per cent in 2013 and in 2012.

However, it was five percentage points better than the 11 per cent who said they would focus on building savings, up slightly from 10 per cent over the last several years.

Next in order of importance were managing day-to-day spending and getting current bills paid, both selected by eight per cent of respondents.

Retirement planning was the top focus of seven per cent of those surveyed, the same as last year but down from 11 per cent in 2012.

“For the fourth year in a row, Canadians have told us their top financial priority is paying down their debt as we enter a new year,” said Christina Kramer, executive vice-president, retail distribution and channel strategy at CIBC.

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