Despite the economic chaos of the past year, more people say the will make New Year's resolutions about the proverbial diet than about improving their money management skills, according to a recent survey.
A survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America says 49% of Americans are more concerned about their waistlines and say they are more likely to make and keep resolutions about exercise and diet, compared with 43% who say they will manage their money better.
When asked to rank areas of life they want to focus on for the coming year, health and wellness topped the list with 45% ranking it highest. Financial stability trailed with 30%. The survey included responses from 1,000 people and has been conducted for three years.
More people this year (80%) say they will not focus on financial planning, compared to 67% who had that response in each of the past two years. Nearly one-third (31%) say they are less likely to seek help in financial planning next year, while 20% say they are more likely to seek help than in the past. Nearly half (49%) were unsure.
Respondents say the main reason for leaving financial planning out of their resolutions is because they do not make enough money to worry about it (35%), they have a solid financial plan (23%) or they do not have a financial advisor (17%).
"It's troubling to see that despite all of 2011's economic volatility, Americans are placing less emphasis on addressing their financial security," says Libbe. "Now more than ever, it's imperative that people have a plan in place to help ensure financial stability and security -- and help reduce some of the uncertainty surrounding retirement."
When asked to reflect on 2011, more people (48%) said the amount of unemployment was the most worrisome economic problem. The U.S. budget problems followed a distant second at 23% and home prices and sales was third at 15%. The volatile stock market came in fourth at 10%, followed by the European debt crisis at 5%.
Nearly one-third (31%) say they are less likely to seek help with financial planning next year, while 20% say they are more likely to seek help than in the past. Nearly half (49%) were unsure.