Seventy-two percent of parents in a new poll say paying off debt is their chief financial priority for this year, rising to 80% among millennial respondents, New York Life reported this week.
Two-thirds of parents also said they planned to save more this year. But when asked what they would do if they should win $5 million, 58% said debt reduction would be one of the top three uses for their windfall.
Only a third of respondents said they would use the hypothetical jackpot to save for retirement.
“While reducing debt can be a worthwhile endeavor, a singular focus on it at the expense of other planning can be dangerous to a family’s overall financial well-being,” New York Life vice president Brian Madgett said in a statement.
“Adopting a protection-first financial planning approach is crucial, as even the best laid plans can get derailed without a strong long-term foundation.”
Ipsos conducted the survey in English in mid-November among 1,102 adults from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. Respondents had to have at least one child under age 18 living at home in order to participate.