A study conducted by BMO Wealth Management has found that nearly one third of Canadians feel that reducing or eliminating debt is their number one financial priority.
Other financial priorities of Canadians include effective investing and tax efficiency (24%), saving more (23%), budgeting (14%), spending on personal needs or goals (4%).
The study revealed age as an important factor in deciding financial priorities. While reducing or eliminating debt was prioritized by boomers (34%), saving more was the top priority for the millennial customer segment (26%). Respondents above 55 years of age prioritised effective investing and tax efficiency (29%).
BMO Wealth Management senior manager of wealth planning strategy Chris Buttigieg said: "Financial needs and goals are always changing as people move from one life stage to the next, so it's important to have the flexibility to adapt your financial strategy accordingly.
"It's a good idea to re-evaluate your financial plan on a regular basis to ensure your saving, investing, borrowing and spending are in balance as priorities shift over time."
About one third of respondents are also concerned on not being able to save enough to achieve their financial goals, the study found. Of these respondents, the millennial customer segment is more likely to have this concern (35%) compared to boomers (29%).
Nearly 36% of the respondents cited stock market losses as a key reason for not being able to save enough or invest. Other reasons cited include failed business ventures, divorce or separation, and financial loss on a property sale.
"If you experience a financial setback, a financial professional can help you re-establish control over your finances by re-orienting your strategy. This can include introducing plans to reduce, consolidate or eliminate specific debts, or recommending different approaches to saving and investing to help you refocus your financial goals," Buttigieg added.