Seeking Professional Financial Advice Not a Common Resolution

Despite widespread economic volatility in 2011, 80% of Americans in an Allianz Life survey said they will not focus on financial planning in their resolutions for 2012.

Allianz Life Insurance Company said this lack of intent for having a financial resolution is at the highest level in the survey’s three-year history.

The main reason for leaving financial planning out of resolutions was respondents’ belief that they “don’t make enough to worry about it” (35%). Twenty-three percent said that they already “have a solid financial plan” and 17% attributed it to the fact that they “don’t have an adviser/financial professional.”

When asked, “Given 2011’s economic conditions and your current financial situation, are you more or less likely to seek the advice of a financial adviser/professional,” nearly one-third (31%) said that they are “less likely” to look for help with financial planning. Only 20% indicated that they were “more likely” to seek financial advice with most people (49%) saying they’re “unsure” about focusing on their finances.

“It’s troubling to see that despite all of 2011’s economic volatility, Americans are placing less emphasis on addressing their financial security,” said Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer Insights at Allianz Life. “Now more than ever, it’s imperative that people have a plan in place to help ensure financial stability and security—and help reduce some of the uncertainty surrounding retirement.”

What are Americans resolving to do? Forty-nine percent said that they were most likely to make and keep a resolution related to exercise/diet versus managing their money better (43%). Moreover, when asked to rank five life focus areas —“health/wellness,” “financial stability,” “employment,” “education” and “leisure” — 45% of Americans said that “health/wellness” was their most important focus area for 2012. “Financial stability” came in at 30%.

In a list of five economic events —“unemployment,” the “U.S. budget fiasco,” “home prices/sales,” “volatile stock market” and the “European debt crisis” — 48% of Americans ranked “unemployment” as the most worrisome of 2011. The “U.S. budget fiasco” followed with 23%, with “home prices/sales,” “volatile stock market” and “European debt crisis” drawing less attention with 15%, 10% and 5%, respectively.