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Most Canadians (65%) are confident they’ll reach their financial goals this year, says a new CIBC poll.

However, that’s a decline over last year when the poll found 76% were optimistic about the year ahead. The drop is mostly due to people aged 45 and up being worried about their finances (only 58% were confident, compared to 77% in 2014).

Read: Top tips from portfolio managers in 2014

Meanwhile, the majority of younger Canadians (75%) remain confident about their futures, compared to 76% last year.

Read: Tackle cross-generational planning

Debt is top concern

Paying down debt is the number one financial priority for Canadians for the fifth year in a row, adds CIBC.

It finds those nearing retirement are focused most on debt, on average. “Canadians close to retirement […] are trying to balance their short-term need to reduce debt with their longer-term goal to save for retirement,” says Christina Kramer, executive vice-president of Retail and Business Banking at CIBC.

Read: More than half of U.S. boomers don’t have advisors

That’s why the “decline in confidence among boomers is the most significant we’ve seen in five years,” she adds. “As [they] increasingly focus on debt reduction as an immediate priority, they also get closer to retirement without long-term plan[s] in place.”

Read: Sandwich gen short $560K for retirement

Key findings

Percentage of Canadians who are confident they’ll meet their goals, by region:

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
National 65% 76% 74% 72% 71%
Atlantic Canada 66% 78% 74% 78% 72%
Quebec 50% 68% 64% 60% 66%
Ontario 66% 77% 78% 76% 70%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan 75% 79% 84% 78% 69%
Alberta 77% 84% 82% 85% 77%
British Columbia 72% 80% 72% 70% 78%

Percentage of Canadians who are confident they’ll meet their goals, by age:

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
National 65% 76% 74% 72% 71%
18-24 62% 76% 73% 78% 76%
25-34 77% 79% 74% 78% 75%
35-44 72% 72% 75% 74% 69%
45-54 58% 77% 74% 70% 71%
55-64 61% 74% 75% 68% 69%
65+ 60% 81% 74% 70% 69%

Percentage of Canadians who feel positive about their current financial situation, by region:

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
National 63% 70% 70% 64% 69%
Atlantic Canada 67% 67% 65% 61% 72%
Quebec 57% 71% 68% 64% 67%
Ontario 61% 69% 74% 66% 67%
Man/ Saskatchewan 65% 70% 75% 70% 73%
Alberta 68% 82% 69% 72% 73%
British Columbia 74% 67% 65% 54% 72%

Percentage of Canadians who feel positive about their current financial situation, by age:

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
National 63% 70% 70% 64% 69%
18-24 56% 59% 69% 69% 66%
25-34 69% 68% 67% 58% 73%
35-44 65% 66% 71% 69% 68%
45-54 58% 73% 70% 63% 68%
55-64 59% 73% 69% 65% 69%
65+ 72% 79% 73% 66% 70%

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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