Americans Vow to Save More in 2009

More than half (59%) of Americans responding to a survey by TD AMERITRADE said their top New Year’s resolution for 2009 was to either start or build up their retirement nest egg.

A TD AMERITRADE news release about its December survey said 48% of respondents vowed to pay off debt in the new year, and 47% promised themselves to start or build a general investment portfolio.

Forty-three percent of respondents said they are more likely to have personal finance-related resolutions for 2009 than they were two years ago, compared with 28% last year.

While the majority (92%) indicated they were confident they can manage their money responsibly, more than half said they wished they knew more about personal finance and that managing their money is getting more complicated than it used to be, TD AMERITRADE said.

“We are experiencing unprecedented times in the history of our nation’s financial markets. (The) survey suggests that this has left many Americans questioning how all this impacts them, their families and their financial futures,” said Stephanie Giroux, TD AMERITRADE’s chief investment strategist, in the news release.

According to the survey, Americans indicated that of the resolutions offered, they would be most likely to keep the following:

  • start or build retirement savings (59%)
  • spend more time with family (52%)
  • pay off debt (48%)
  • start or build an investment portfolio (47%)
  • have more fun (43%).

Americans indicated that of the resolutions offered, they would be most likely to break the following:

  • relax or reduce stress (73%)
  • make more time for self (72%)
  • weight loss plan (72%)
  • exercise plan (71%)
  • eat better (70%).

The results are based on a telephone survey among 1,003 U.S. residents age 18 years and older. The survey was conducted December 4 to 7 by Opinion Research Corporation.