The 2012 Household Financial Planning Survey1 found that even in uncertain economic times, people with well- defined financial plans tend to reap a variety of benefits. The study identified four types of investing behaviors:

 
Comprehensive: Just 20% of Americans have a comprehensive financial plan and of that group.

  • 61% report a household income of less than $100,000.
  • 91% rely on professional help or use online tools.

Basic: More than one-third of American households fall into this category, planning for financial goals but not the big picture, including understanding how different goals may impact one another.

  • 30% rely on professional help or use online tools.
  • 33% say they are able to meet basic expenses with a little left over.
  • 52% report a household income below $100,000.

Limited: Only 33% of Americans have a household budget or a plan to address one or more savings goals but not both.

  • None rely on professional help or use online tools.
  • 31% say they have just enough income to meet basic expenses.

Non-planners: This group does little or no financial planning, has no written budget. Just one in 10 has any kind of plan to pursue a financial goal such as retirement or education funding.

  • None rely on professional help or use online tools.
  • 35% say they have just enough income to meet basic expenses.
  • 23% say they don’t have enough income to meet basic expenses.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

The study supports a positive relationship between financial planning and financial preparedness. Working with a financial advisor helps you to stay on the right track toward reaching your goals and staying prepared for what’s to come.

concerns

 
 
 
 

1 2012 Household Financial Planning Survey, prepared for Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. and the Consumer Federation of America, July 2012.