Infographic: What's most financially important when

For 3 out of 10 millennials, socking away more savings is their top financial concern, making it the most common priority identified by Americans age 18-34 in a  survey by BMO Harris Wealth Management.

Taking second place among the millennial crowd was paying down debt, which was cited as a top focus by less than a quarter (24 percent) of young respondents.

But among those in the ages 35-54, the two competing priorities flip, with debt reduction surging to critical importance for more than a third of Generation X, at 35 percent, and the focus on saving dropping to 27 percent.

Among both age groups, investing effectively and tax-efficiently scored a third-rank 20 percent.

Moving up the age cohorts, priorities shift again in the baby boomer generation of Americans age 55 and older. There, debt reduction carries the same weight as among Generation X respondents, at 35 percent.

But instead of saving more, older Americans are shifting their secondary focus to effective investing, with 26 percent citing this as a priority. Meanwhile, only 14 percent indicated saving as a top concern.

BMO’s findings come from an April 2016 survey conducted with an online sample of about 1,000 Americans age 18 or older across the U.S. and in key states Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. The results were released Aug. 29.

See related: Infographic: Life is financially fragile for millennials, Infographic: Credit card love from older millennials, More infographics

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Updated: 02-19-2019