National survey on consumer confidence and personal finances finds that Americans with a financial plan are more upbeat on their personal economic outlook
"While our country continues to grapple with sustained unemployment and other economic headwinds, Americans have a more positive outlook on their own personal finances. And those people who have a financial plan believe that their own financial situation will improve over the next year and are willing to contribute to the economy by spending more," said
Of the 1,011 adults participating in the telephone survey, findings showed:
- The majority of Americans (59 percent) are not confident that the overall economy will rebound within the next year.
- The majority of respondents have experienced negative fallout from the recession with 53 percent having delayed making a big purchase and 45 percent dipping into their savings.
- Despite the weak confidence in the economy as a whole, Americans have a slightly more encouraging attitude with regard to their own finances, with 83 percent saying their personal financial situation would remain the same or improve during the upcoming year.
- Planning ahead for financial goals makes a significant impact on people's outlook – with 58 percent of Americans indicating that they would feel more confident about their finances if they had a financial plan in place.
- More than four in five (86 percent) respondents agree with the statement, "Everyone should have a financial plan. Even if you have very little money it is good to know in advance how you will spend it and the best means of growing what you have."
- Nearly four out of five people (79 percent) claim to have a financial plan; however, the majority do nothave an official, written document as almost half (46 percent) said they just have a plan in their head, and 11 percent only have notes or ideas written down. 42 percent of respondents said they had an official written plan.
- Trust in financial planners is shaken due to the recent financial crisis. However, if given one hour with a financial planner, people would take advantage of it – focusing on retirement and budget planning. 36 percent of Americans reported working with a financial planner or advisor.
Moran noted that these findings suggest there is "a gap between how Americans view financial plans and knowing the best way to build and maintain one. They clearly understand the importance of a financial plan, but too many Americans are not taking the necessary steps to formalize it in a concrete, comprehensive way."
Results of the entire survey can be found by clicking here and at CFP.net.
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