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Reversing last year’s results, more Canadians cite saving for retirement as a top financial priority compared to paying off debt, according to the RBC RRSP Poll.

Read: Retirement still not a high priority — are advisors to blame?

Over half (52%) are now focusing on increasing retirement savings, with 48% placing a priority on debt reduction, compared to 44% and 54%, respectively, in last year’s poll. The reversal is even more marked among middle-aged Canadians — those 35 to 54 years old — with almost two-thirds (62%, versus 52% last year) focusing on saving for retirement ahead of reducing debt (52% versus 56%).

Read:

RRSP contributions to drop

Talk retirement with young clients

The poll also found that RRSP ownership among those aged 35 to 54 has jumped to 68% from last year’s 58%. In addition, one-quarter (26%) of middle-aged Canadians have determined they will need to save, on average, $545,000 for a comfortable retirement.

RBC RRSP Poll — Key Results:

Financial Priority Canadians
18+
Canadians
35-54
2013 2012 2013 2012
Retirement savings 52% 44% 62% 52%
Reduce or eliminate debt 48% 54% 52% 56%
Rainy day savings 43% 44% 39% 40%
Home ownership 32% 34% 29% 33%
Keep head above water 30% 32% 30% 32%
Saving for large purchase 25% 28% 19% 22%
Building investment portfolio 23% 17% 22% 16%
Home renovation 20% 20% 20% 20%
Child/grandchild education 16% 20% 18% 24%
Supporting aging parents 7% 7% 7% 6%
RRSP Ownership 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Canadians 18+ 59% 55% 60% 61% 54%
Canadians 35 to 54 68% 58% 67% 70% 57%
Comfortable
retirement savings
amount estimated
C$ hundred thousands
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Non-retired Canadians $610 $564 $778 $655 $656
Retired Canadians $235 $347 $339 $274 $267
Canadians 18+ $476 $465 $601 $501 $497
Canadians 35 to 54 $545 $547 $786 $633 $581

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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