What do you consider most important when it comes to your financial priorities? Saving for the future? Paying down debt?
According to a recent BMO Wealth Management Study, your response may be dependent on your age. The report, which was released last month, found that the most important financial priority for Millennials – those aged 18-34 - is to save more. Respondents aged 35-54 saw reducing or eliminating debt as their top priority, while Canadians aged 55 and over stated that investing effectively and tax efficiency was their number one financial goal. The report found that twenty-nine percent of Canadians are concerned they will not be able to save enough to reach their financial goals.
Whether you're just starting out in life or are enjoying your golden years, here are BMO's tips for financial planning at life's various stages:
New Graduates: Now is the time to put a plan in place, whether it's saving for a down payment or reducing outstanding student debt. By establishing a budget that focuses on saving and reducing borrowed amounts - as opposed to spending on current wants - it may be possible to achieve these goals more quickly.
Parents: When gifts are given to children on birthdays and holidays, parents may wish to use this tradition as an opportunity to teach children about the importance of balancing between spending on current wants and the desire for future needs. Parents should also consider life, creditor, critical illness and disability insurance to protect their families in the event the unexpected occurs.
Retirees: Reducing expenses and having a consistent cash flow or income stream in retirement is important to help make accumulated savings last. This is a good time to consider scaling back on financial support paid to younger family members. If one's goal in retirement is to travel, financial plans should be built with this expectation in mind, including the cost of travel medical insurance.
To view a copy of the full report, please visit: www.bmo.com/wealthreports.