MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In 2016, other than faith and family, Americans have their sights set on wellness above all else according to the 7th annual New Year’s Resolution Survey* from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®). Almost half (44%) of respondents reported their top focus for 2016 will be on health/wellness, with financial stability trailing at 29% of those surveyed. These focus areas came ahead of career/employment (13%), education (9%) and entertainment/leisure (5%).
Even though health/wellness topped the list of focus areas for respondents, when asked which New Year’s resolutions they are most likely to make and actually keep, health and finances ranked almost equally. Forty-three percent of those surveyed said they are most likely to make and keep their resolution of diet/exercise and 41% resolve to manage money better. And yet, nearly one in three respondents didn’t include financial planning in their resolutions because they “don’t make enough money to worry about it.”
“Regardless of income level, it’s imperative that people build a successful financial plan. Keep in mind that financial stability helps improve wellness overall,” said Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe. “We know from our research that financial health weighs heavily on people’s minds – stagnant wages were a top concern and one in three respondents reported they fear another major recession may happen in 2016. By taking the appropriate actions to secure their financial future, people can weather economic volatility and improve other areas of their lives.”
Receptive to guidance
Aligning with their New Year’s resolutions, respondents are more open to getting help with their financial decisions despite the fact that their top focus is wellness. If given free access to professional guidance, more respondents chose a financial professional (37%) than a nutritionist/dietician (28%) or a personal trainer (23%). Additionally, in terms of taking action, respondents believe the top three things that could improve their finances in 2016 are building their savings for emergencies, paying off credit card debt and making a budget.
Conquering bad financial habits
According to Libbe, improving finances often starts with identifying what may be amiss in a person’s current financial reality. Respondents in this year’s survey admit to having bad financial habits to overcome, namely issues with saving and spending, including:
- Spending too much money on things “I don’t need” (29%)
- Saving some money, “but not as much as I could” (28%)
- Not saving any money (26%) and
- Spending “more than I make” (19%)
“Similar to wellness in general, financial health can be significantly improved by making small, consistent changes,” concluded Libbe. “Eliminating or reducing your bad financial habits is a great starting point and can deliver big dividends over the long haul.”
About Allianz Life
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015, has been keeping its promises since 1896. Today, it carries on that tradition, helping Americans achieve their retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuities and life insurance products. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry with 147,000 employees worldwide. More than 85 million private and corporate customers rely on Allianz knowledge, global reach, and capital strength to help them make the most of financial opportunities.
*Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America conducted an eNation online survey, the Allianz Life New Year’s Resolution Survey, November 2015, through Ipsos with 1,006 respondents.