Our Greatest Concern Is Something We Don't Want to Talk About
NEW YORK (MainStreet) It's one of our greatest concerns but we would rather not talk about it. In fact, we would rather discuss politics, religion, our health -- and even death than matters of money. Our personal finances are one of the most difficult topics for Americans to discuss, even though a Wells Fargo study reveals it's what we worry about most.
Nearly one in four (39%) Americans say that money causes the most stress in their life, and 39% say they are more worried about their finances now than they were last year. One third (33%) of those surveyed say the lose sleep worrying about money.
"It's not surprising people don't want to talk about money, investments, tax strategies, or even how much to put aside for a child's education," says Karen Wimbish with Wells Fargo. "There's a lack of understanding about the importance of designing a plan. Only a third of adults have some type of financial plan or a simple household budget in place, which means most Americans don't have the roadmap needed to improve their financial health."
Regrets? Americans have a few. When asked what they would do differently if they could go back five years, nearly half of Americans (49%) said they would save more and spend less. That clearly outranked other do-overs respondents wish they could take, including taking better care of their physical health, diet and fitness (42%), pursuing different personal relationships (21%), and working more to improve their career (16%).
Day to day, most Americans are comfortable with addressing their basic needs, but when it comes to big picture goals, we feel less in control. Two thirds (67%) feel in financially good or great shape with regards to paying their monthly bills, and over half (56%) feel financially good or great in their ability to live within their means. However, only 40% feel financially good or great about their amount of discretionary spending and about their "rainy day" savings. Only a third (33%) described feeling in good or great shape with their ability to retire comfortably.
One-third (33%) of married or partnered adults have difficulty discussing money with their spouse or partner, and a quarter (25%) often have heated discussions with their significant other about money and household finances. Half of women (50%) find it difficult talking with others about personal finances, versus 38% of men.
And one in four (25%) adults would rather pay for a personal trainer than a financial advisor.
Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet