More Americans plan to consider financial resolutions when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, a new Fidelity Investments survey says. The annual study found that 42% of Americans plan to make financial New Year’s resolutions, up from 35% last year. Results of this year’s telephone survey included 1,006 adults ages 18 and older.
The resolutions come as the economy continues to weather a storm, the survey found. Of those planning to make a financial resolution, 80%, expressed a continued desire to save, and 78% said that this year’s economic events have made them more determined. “The historic economic events over the past two years have shaken many Americans, but they have also spurred positive saving behaviors,” Fidelity Investments Vice President Ken Hevert said in a prepared statement.
Fifty-one percent of respondents said they plan to focus on saving more. Of those respondents, 59% said they plan to focus on long-term savings goals including retirement and children’s college funds. And of those planning to focus on long-term savings, 53% leaned towards investing in IRAs or workplace savings accounts. That was followed by a focus on college savings and retiree health care costs, each at 42%.
Other survey respondents, representing 31%, plan to focus on short-term goals. Out of that group, 50% plan to work toward an emergency fund and 49% are fixing to pay down credit card debt.
Separately, Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America released its own 2011 financial survey this week. That survey, which also polled about 1,000 respondents, found that more individuals would prefer to consult a financial planner than a personal trainer, 44% to 26%.
At the same time, only 33% of that survey’s respondents planned to include a financial plan in their New Year’s resolutions. Most common reasons cited for not creating a new financial plan included not having enough money and already having an existing plan.
“There’s people that utilize financial advisors because they see that discipline can help them pay down that debt and start saving for a nest egg,” said Allianz Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe. “It’s that kind of one-on-one relationship and knowing what you need to train and having to be accountable to that trainer.”