Many Americans know they may be in trouble with their financial planning, but few seem to be doing anything about it, according to a study by Northwestern Mutual released Tuesday.
According to the 2015 Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress Study of 5,000 American adults, 58 percent of Americans believe their financial planning needs improvement and 21 percent are not at all confident they will be able to reach their financial goals. However, when asked what steps they have taken to plan for their financial futures, 34 percent say they have done nothing.
In addition, 67 percent expect more financial crises such as what happened in 2008, yet only 38 percent are confident their financial plans can withstand market cycles.
Two thirds of respondents consider themselves savers, but 54 percent say they have debt that is equal to or more than their savings.
“Intending one thing and doing another is human, but it’s an impulse we should all fight hard to resist,” says Rebekah Barsch, vice president of planning and sales at Northwestern Mutual.
Unfortunately, the research shows that the number of Americans who do no planning at all is going up, says Northwestern Mutual. During the last four years, the number of Americans age 25 and older who identify themselves as non-planners who have no established financial goals has doubled from 7 percent to 14 percent, the study shows.
“Some people might instinctively know they need to address their financial futures, but fear gets the better of them, and they ignore the issue, hoping it works itself out one way or another,” says Barsch. “We tell them the best remedy for fearing and ignoring is planning, preparing and protecting.”