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Paying Down Credit Card Debt Takes Priority When Planning For The Future
21 Nov
If you’re trying to plan for your financial future, you are probably trying to balance a few different priorities. Putting money aside for retirement, managing any investments you may have, and paying off debt are just a few of the things that people generally prioritize when putting their affairs in order for the future.

A recent survey from PNC Financial Services shed some light on how people are feeling about their financial futures. The PNC Perspectives of Retirement Survey found that emotions, and not just bank balances, play an important role in planning for the future. When asked what their main goal was for retirement, 77% said they wanted to live comfortably, while 70% said they’d like to travel, and 56% wanted to spend more time with their families. (Respondents could choose more than one answer.)

When asked whether they were confident that they would achieve their goals, 72% said they did feel that they’d meet their financial goals for retirement.

According to the findings in the most recent PNC Perspectives of Retirement Survey, emotional factors play a key role in planning for life goals, as most respondents indicated they want to enjoy life, feel financially secure and have peace of mind in their retirement. In order to do this, they were taking certain steps, including investing, contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, saving money on their own, and paying down credit card debt.

“Successful savers” less likely to have credit card debt

While only 10% of those surveyed said they were carrying credit card debt, paying it off was a top priority for them. Thirty-one percent were paying off a mortgage, and 38% said they were debt-free.

Survey participants included working adults and retirees spanning the ages of 25 to 75, who fit the category of “successful saver” because they had investable assets of at least $50,000 if they were under age 44 and over $100,000 if they were over 44. This did not include funds in 401(k) retirement funds.

These so-called “successful savers” were less likely to carry credit card debt than the average consumer, who does carry some revolving debt on credit cards each month. Interestingly, older folks (those ages 65-75) were not interested in leaving money behind; 86% said their priority was to live well in retirement, not to leave a large estate for their heirs.

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