Fewer Consumers Making New Year’s Financial Resolutions

Money goals taking a back seat to health and wellness
A Millennial checks their credit card spending

If you’ve vowed to stop making money-related New Year’s resolutions, you’re one of a growing number of consumers, a new survey reveals.

It’s not uncommon for people to set intentions at the end of the year to improve their lives in some way during the following 12 months. To learn what consumers hope to improve on in 2020, financial services company Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America surveyed 1,307 adults about their resolutions.

The survey found that financial resolutions are taking a backseat to health and wellness goals next year. Among respondents, only 14% said financial planning was one of their resolutions for 2020, down from 18% last year. When it comes to focus areas for the new year, just 27% said financial stability was one of them. Meanwhile, 51% named health and wellness as a core concern.

Baby boomers, identified as those between the ages of 55 and 73, were particularly focused on health and wellness, with 63% identifying that as a primary focus for 2020. Yet only 28% of baby boomers cited financial stability as a focus area for the new year.

Even those who expressed financial concerns related to retirement were unlikely to make financial resolutions. In fact, only 33% of respondents who said they “don’t think they’ll be able to retire” named financial stability as an area of focus for 2020, compared with 39% who cited health and wellness.

Additionally, although nearly a third of boomers said health care costs were the greatest risk to their ability to retire, most didn’t address that concern with a New Year’s resolution. In fact, only 7% identified putting more money away to pay for those rising health care costs as something to do in the new year.

So why aren’t consumers focusing on improving their money situations in the new year? The good news is that some don’t feel that they have to. Nearly a third of respondents — 32% — said they already have a financial plan so there is no need to make a new resolution. Additionally, some consumers believe they are on track with their long-term financial goals, as 20% said they see no risks to their retirement in 2020.

However, some appear to be forgoing financial resolutions because they don’t believe they will help. In fact, 30% of respondents said financial planning was not one of their resolutions because they don’t make enough money to worry about making a financial plan.

Setting goals and intentions is a first step toward taking action to make a change. If you’re 100% happy with your finances, it may make sense to focus on setting goals in other areas of your life. But if you have consumer debt or want to increase your savings, a resolution to make better financial choices can help you end 2020 on a better note. No matter your age, there are financial resolutions that could improve your life. Likewise, if you’re nearing retirement age, consider implementing strategies that could increase your chances of living a financially secure life when you stop working.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.

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