Eighty-four percent of Americans will not include financial planning in their New Year’s resolutions, according to a new survey by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. The lack of financial focus is the highest it has been since Allianz founded its New Year’s Resolution survey in 2009.
The top reason for leaving financial planning out of resolutions was respondents’ belief that they don’t make enough to worry about it (32 percent) or they already have a solid financial plan (26 percent). Twenty percent attributed it to their lack of an advisor or financial professional.
“It’s alarming that Americans’ willingness to ignore financial planning in their New Year’s Resolutions continues to go up year after year,” said Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life. “With the responsibility for retirement security shifting from employers to individuals, people need to become more, not less, active with financial planning to ensure they have enough money to fund a retirement that could last up to 30 years.”
Unfortunately, when respondents were asked how likely they are to seek advice from a financial professional in 2013, more than a third (36 percent) responded “less likely,” up 5 percent from 2011. Only 20 percent said they were “more likely,” matching 2011, while 44 percent noted they were “unsure,” down 5 percent from the 2011 survey.
For the second straight year, “health/wellness” topped Allianz Life’s survey as the most important focus area for the upcoming year. Forty-four percent of respondents made it their top selection followed by “financial stability” (31 percent), “employment” (15 percent) and “education” (6 percent).
In terms of resolutions they are most likely to keep, “exercise/diet” came out on top at 44 percent, besting “manage money better” (41 percent) and “spend more time with family/friends” (26 percent). Exercise/diet remains the top selection since the initial survey in 2009, although it is down five percentage points from the 2011 survey’s high of 49 percent.
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America helps Americans achieve their retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and life insurance products.