Consumers in the Midwest are more concerned with reducing their debt than they are with growing their savings accounts or saving for retirement, according to a survey co-sponsored by the $588.7 million, Bellevue, Neb.-based SAC Federal Credit Union and the Omaha, Neb.-based Institute for Career Advancement Needs.
Participants of the survey, titled “Leading the Way – the 2012 Leadership and Finances Survey,” named “decreasing debt” as their top personal finance priority over the next year, followed by “growing personal savings” and “saving for retirement,” the Omaha credit union said.
The survey also revealed Midwesterners’ hold a shaky view of their personal finances – 68% of respondents said they are “somewhat confident” in the overall state of their finances, SAC FCU said.
Additionally, women in the Midwest feel they’re burdened with the most financial troubles, the survey found. It said 65% of female respondents said they are “not confident” in the overall state of their finances, compared to 35% of male respondents.
Nearly half of the survey’s respondents (44%) said the recession and a volatile market made them rethink how they view their finances, the credit union said. However, 93% of respondents are either “somewhat confident” or “confident” that they’ll reach their goals of reducing debt, growing personal savings and saving for retirement in the next year.
“Residents in our area and throughout the Midwest have some catching up to do as it relates to their finances, said Gail DeBoer, president/CEO at SAC FCU. “The good news is even though many are still working toward achieving a better financial position, the vast majority are optimistic about making progress. It’s time to move beyond the past and focus on future planning that will enable families to achieve their short-term as well as their long-term financial goals.”
Around 5,500 consumers, the majority of whom reside in the Midwest, responded to the survey, which the credit union and non-profit organization conducted online in March and April 2012.