Three times as many Americans put short-term savings for such goals as vacations or household appliances at the top of their priority list as those who save in an IRA for retirement. 

That's according to the fourth annual TIAA-CREF IRA survey, which also found that those short-term savers (24 percent of respondents) nearly equal the number of respondents (25 percent) who said they make saving in an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k) a top priority. And those folks who rate saving in an IRA at the top of the list? Just 8 percent of respondents. 

Only 18 percent of respondents said that they contribute at all to an IRA, although 56 percent of those who don't have one said they'd consider it. 

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