Winging It

A new study finds many Americans have no financial plan

Man Laptop Cellphone Deck
Buck the trend be a planner and a saver

According to a new study from Northwestern Mutual, the number of Americans who do not have a financial plan is on the rise. Over the past three years, the number of people who reported as "non-planners" has doubled, from seven percent in 2012 to 14 percent this year. These people also admitted that they did not set any financial goals for themselves. Despite this uptick, the survey found that most people have the right intentions when it comes to money. They just aren't following through.

A majority of Americans—58 percent—recognize that their financial planning needs improvement. Also, 67 percent of Americans self-reported as "savers," and most of the study's respondents said they were giving serious thought to what their lives will be like when they retire. These are all good things. However, they're not being backed up.

Almost 34 percent of people admitted that they had taken no steps to improving their financial plans. Even though 67 percent said they were "savers," 54 percent said they have equal or more debt than savings. And yes, most people are worried about retirement, but only 43 percent said they had talked with someone about retirement planning.

The Northwestern study's findings are troubling, but there is a silver lining. At least people seem to know what they need to do. The obstacle is getting them to do it. If deep down you know you need a push to take care of some financial messiness, consider this study a shove. The longer you wait to sort out your finances, the worse things become.

Article was written by Chris O'Shea for SavvyMoney®.