Americans Show Interest in Financial Help in 2015

Nearly half (49%) of respondents to the 6th annual New Year’s Resolution Survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America say health/wellness is the most important focus area for the upcoming year.

Only 30% of respondents chose financial stability as their top focus for 2015. However, Americans show an interest in getting professional help with managing their finances.

Nearly one-quarter (23%) of respondents said they are more likely to seek the advice of a financial professional in 2015, up from 19% in 2013. More Americans (36%) also selected “financial professional” as their top choice if they had free access to assistance from a top professional, ahead of nutritionist/dietician (28%), personal trainer (23%) and career counselor (13%).

In terms of bad financial habits that are holding people back from achieving their financial goals, results were similar to previous years. Top responses this year included “not saving any money” (28%), “spending too much on things not needed” (27%) and “saving some money, but not as much as I could” (24%).

When asked about the one thing they could do to improve their finances in 2015, most respondents said “pay off credit cards” (19%), followed by “build up my emergency savings” (17%) and “increase my retirement savings” (14%).

“It is encouraging that there is some recognition about the importance of addressing retirement savings. The New Year is a great time to evaluate your financial plan, and whether people choose to go it alone or utilize guidance from a financial professional, any proactive step can help lessen financial stress,” says Katie Libbe, vice president of consumer insights for Allianz Life.

Allianz Life conducted an eNation online survey in November 2014 through Ipsos with 1,004 respondents.