Most Canadians choose saving over paying down debt

By The IJ Staff | March 25 2019 01:30PM

Photo: Freepik

Seventy-seven per cent of Canadians have prioritized saving over paying down debt, according to a survey released today by Edward Jones.

Survey respondents who cited "saving" as their top priority identified the following specific financial goals as their motivation: retirement – 41 per cent; funds to spend on their lifestyle – 37 per cent; future family or child's education – 30 per cent and emergency fund – 26 per cent.

The online survey of more than 1500 Canadians was completed between Dec 14 and 17, 2018, using pollster Leger's online panel.

The survey found that Canadians who prioritize eliminating debt were split between those paying down long-term debt (such as a mortgage, car, cottage, etc.) and short-term debt (credit cards, school, line of credit, etc.) as their top priority (29 per cent respectively).

Consult an advisor

"When it comes to planning for the future, paying down debt is equally as important as saving," said Patrick French, principal of solutions tools and consulting with Edward Jones. "A financial advisor can partner with you to develop saving and debt payment plans tailored to your lifestyle, so that you're able to address both priorities and stay on track towards meeting your financial goals."

The survey also asked respondents to reflect on how they have done with respect to reaching their financial goals. Most believed they have underperformed (58 per cent), with only 12 per cent believing they have met their goals.

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