By Ayo Mseka
Facing an uncertain economic future and critical of government, Americans plan to remain focused on their personal well-being in 2012, according to TD Ameritrade’s annual New Year’s Resolution survey.
Most respondents plan to make at least one personal resolution in 2012, the two most common being “have more fun” and “relax and reduce stress.” The strong need for “me” time, consistent with last year’s survey findings, may be a result of frustration with economic conditions.
According to this year’s survey, 40 percent of respondents would give their elected officials an “F” for how they handled the economy in 2011. When asked what the government’s resolutions for the New Year should be, respondents said that job creation (22 percent), reduced spending (16 percent) and ending the war in Afghanistan (14 percent) should be top priorities for 2012.
Despite their disappointment with the government, only 30 percent of respondents said they are likely to take “action” by either writing letters to their congressional representatives or participating in demonstrations or protests.
The survey also revealed that more than half (52 percent) of respondents said there is still too much volatility and uncertainty in the market to predict what 2012 will hold. Despite the need for clarity, many still plan to make at least one financially-related New Year’s resolution in 2012:
- 51 percent plan to reduce spending.
- 51 percent want to save for a financial emergency, such as a job loss or loss of a spouse.
- 47 percent resolve to reduce their debt such as credit cards, mortgage or education loan.
- 30 percent plan to start or to build up their retirement savings (401(k) or IRA)
“It’s been a roller coaster year for the economy, and that unpredictability has had an impact on everyone,” says Stuart Rubinstein, managing director of client engagement at TD Ameritrade. “While making time to relax and de-stress is important, it’s good to see that people understand that despite economic uncertainty, it’s just as important to keep pursuing your long-term financial goals.”
Survey results are based on a telephone survey conducted in ORC International’s CARAVAN on behalf of TD Ameritrade. One thousand and six adults participated in a telephone survey conducted from October 13 to October16, 2011. For more information, visit http://www.amtd.com/newsroom.
Ayo Mseka is the Editor of Advisor Today.