There have been numerous reports released this year showing that too many Americans still struggle to regularly set aside money for retirement and other major expenses. An updated poll from Fidelity Investments, though, suggests that a lot of people want to do a better job of saving in 2019. Specifically, 32 percent of surveyed U.S. adults said that they plan on making at least one financial resolution for the new year, and nearly half (48 percent) of these individuals reported that “saving more” will be their main goal. More than a quarter of respondents (29 percent) also pledged to reduce their debt load in 2019, and 15 percent said that they intend to cut back on discretionary spending.
Among surveyed Americans who identified saving as a top priority in the new year, 29 percent said that the money they set aside will be used for short-term goals, such as establishing an emergency fund. Further, a record two-thirds of respondents who cited saving as a key objective said that the money set aside in 2019 will be used primarily for achieving long-term financial goals. For most of these individuals that means the funds will go directly toward boosting their 401(k) and IRA balances, and 48 percent of all respondents even said that they expect to increase their annual rate of retirement saving by at least one full percentage point in the year ahead. That is up from 43 percent in the previous year’s survey and especially encouraging since the annual contribution limits for such plans will also increase in 2019.
Ken Hevert, a senior executive at Fidelity, added that “The uptick we’re seeing in financial resolutions tells us people are no longer willing to remain complacent about their finances … Americans are re-examining their past financial mistakes and revisiting areas that could stand improvement.” Sticking to any new year’s resolution, though, can be challenging, and 22 percent of survey respondents admitted that they failed to follow through on their financial goals in 2018. Among the respondents who were successful, focusing on the potential benefit to their bottom-line and setting milestones to stay motivated were a big help. Additional assistance seems available by working with an advisor because a third of respondents who struggled with financial resolutions this year blamed a lack of “knowledge and/or guidance.”
Sources: Fidelity Investments
Post author: Charles Couch