Research and Statistics

Accomplished savers pay debts before boosting retirement


Tackling mortgage and credit card debt come first, says a PNC survey

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Among Americans who are considered successful savers, 1 in 10 are striving to pay off credit card debt before they’ll increase the amount they’re socking away for retirement.

The data comes from findings by PNC Financial Services Group, which surveyed consumers age 25-75 who have demonstrated their ability to save by holding nonretirement, investable assets of at least $50,000 for respondents age 43 and under, or at least $100,000 for those age 44 or older.

See related: Millennials’ most common debt: Cards, not student loans, Millennials struggle to find financial balance when saving for retirement, Debt versus savings: Who gets paid first?, More infographics

Almost a third of the savers (31 percent) indicated they aim to pay off their mortgage before boosting retirement plan contributions, with eliminating credit card debt being the second most-common goal being tackled ahead of retirement savings.

Eight percent reported having a car loan in their pre-retirement crosshairs, while student loans and medical bills were each cited by 4 percent of respondents.

The survey also found that 38 percent of savers are not actively trying to pay off any expenses in these categories before increasing retirement savings. But it’s unclear which respondents aren’t prioritizing these debts over retirement savings versus those who simply don’t have debts of those types.

PNC’s survey was conducted online with close to 500 respondents in August 2017. The results were balanced according to U.S. Census population demographics and released Nov. 9.

What savers do before increasing retirement savings

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