New Year’s Resolutions, Saving Money A Bad Mix

Photo from Unsplash by Jan Schneider

Americans are big on making New Year’s resolutions, and saving money is quite often on the list. How are you progressing with your goals?

A recent survey by AARP found that 60 percent of U.S.adults resolved to save money in 2019, but a little over two months into the new year, roughly 75 percent of those making that resolution were failing to live up to the promise. The survey was conducted online in March and included 1,500 adults, ages 35 and older.

The report said women and men are equally likely to say they have made a resolution to save, but women struggled more to keep pace with the goal. A little more than half of the women have already failed to stay on track of their savings goal. This compares with 35 of men who have not kept up with their goal.

Less than half  (48 percent) of those who resolved to save in 2019 are confident that they can do it by year’s end. Men were more likely (54 percent) to say they can achieve it, while 43 percent of women were optimistic. Those age 65 and over (58 percent) were more confident that their goal is achievable.

The most common savings resolutions respondents cited were building up an emergency fund (45 percent), saving for vacation (41 percent), paying off debt (37 percent), building up a retirement fund (35 percent), followed closely by home repairs and improvements (31 percent).

Both men and women expressed regret over not saving enough in general for retirement. A quarter of them said that is the biggest mistake they made. And while it ranked No. 1 for those 50 and older, credit card debt topped the list for those aged 35 to 49.

Another frequent mistake was taking on debt of some kind, including credit cards and loans the report said. It also noted that roughly three in 10 reported “a lot of regrets” about saving for retirement. One in five adults regret how they have managed their debt.

Respondents also voiced concern about their retirement savings overall. The report found that six in 10 said they are only “somewhat likely’’ or not “not at all likely’’ to have enough money if relying on their savings and Social Security. A majority of women (67 percent) and 51 percent of men said that they are somewhat likely or less to have enough money to cover their needs.

The report noted that adults ages 65 and over (49 percent) are less likely than those ages 35-49 (62 percent and those ages 50-64 (65 percent) to express doubts that they will be able to cover their needs.

Please let us know how The Gardner Group can help you with your financial goals year-round.

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