After spending much of last year worrying about the outcome of the presidential race, a recent survey by one of the nation’s largest life insurance companies found Americans have made New Year’s resolutions that reflect a hope that a brighter financial future is on the horizon.
The presidential election was a top worry for many people in 2016, both before and after the race was decided, but 32 percent of people who took a survey by Minneapolis-based Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America said they are optimistic they will make more money in the near future because of the election results.
“We like to test the waters and see how focused consumers are in their spending and saving habits. We wanted to take their pulse at the most optimistic time of the year,” said Katie Libbe, vice president of consumer insights at Allianz Life.
While spending less, saving more and paying down debt remain top priorities for many people in months ahead, other perennial favorites based on surveys done by other companies and organizations include health-related resolutions, such as losing weight, de-cluttering, managing time better and focusing on what’s important.
In its eighth annual New Year Financial Resolutions study, Fidelity Investments, based in Boston, found 45 percent of Americans feel they are in better financial shape, although economic concerns linger, and 70 percent of those surveyed by Fidelity predict they will be better off financially in 2017.
The top financial concerns for those taking the Fidelity survey are unexpected expenses and the economy. The survey also found that people who make resolutions tend to be more optimistic, debt-free and financially secure.
“People who make resolutions on money matters tend to feel better about the state of their finances and are generally in better financial shape than those who don’t,” said Ken Hevert, senior vice president of retirement at Fidelity.
Perhaps in response to an optimistic financial outlook, more respondents in the Allianz Life survey also claimed they’d seek professional help with their finances.
Nearly one in three — 29 percent — of those surveyed claimed they would be more likely to seek advice from a financial professional in 2017, the highest percentage in the study’s history.