Reversing last year's rankings, more Canadians are citing saving for retirement as a top financial priority compared to those who are prioritizing paying off debt, according to the 24th Annual RBC RRSP Poll. According to a release, 52 per cent are now focusing on increasing their retirement savings, with 48 per cent placing a priority on debt reduction, compared to 44 per cent and 54 per cent respectively in last year's poll. This reversal of financial priorities is even more marked among middle-aged Canadians - those 35 to 54 years old - with 62 per cent versus 52 per cent last year focusing on saving for retirement ahead of reducing debt 52 per cent versus 56 per cent. "These findings indicate Canadians are more comfortable with how they are managing their debt and this is allowing them to focus more strongly on retirement savings this year," said Bill Hill , national retirement planning consultant, RBC. "To help ensure those savings will support the retirement they have in mind, we recommend they review their lifestyle and financial goals with a financial advisor as early as possible." The poll also found that RRSP ownership among those aged 35 to 54 has jumped to 68 per cent from last year's 58 per cent. In addition, one-quarter (26 per cent) of middle-aged Canadians has determined they will need to save, on average, $545,000 for a comfortable retirement. "This is the age group that needs to be planning now for the lifestyle they want to have in retirement," Hill said. "As Canadians who have already retired know, there is so much more to your retirement years than just the money you think you'll need. The beginning of each new year is a good time to sit down with a financial advisor to explore all aspects of a successful retirement - you may well find you have more options than you are aware of today." The 24th Annual RBC RRSP poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid. ((Comments on this story may be sent to email@example.com ))
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