Survey: Americans Optimistic, Yet Anxious, About Savings

Americans Optimistic, Yet Anxious, About Savings

A new survey by CNBC showed that Americans are feeling optimistic about their ability to save for the future, but are also still anxious about it. The survey, which was conducted in March, polled 2,300 adults.

More than half of the adults surveyed were “somewhat more confident” (30 percent) or “much more confident” (27 percent) about their ability to save than they were three years ago.

Retirement is the issue respondents are most concerned about, ranking as the top financial concern for 23 percent of those surveyed, specifically in the age group of 45 through 64.

“If we’re lagging on our long-term goals, we’re always going to feel concerned, even if we’re in a good spot for now,” said Douglas Boneparth, a certified financial planner and president of Bone Fide Wealth in New York.

Although the economy is humming along, some adults have been hit with unexpected financial emergencies, have made big purchases like homes or had to pay for college or healthcare – all of which can squeeze a budget.

One thing that can alleviate the anxiety over retirement savings is to come up with a plan, noted the report. “If you haven’t already engaged in financial planning or done your own analysis, now is a good time to do it,” Boneparth said. “When you don’t do a retirement plan, you’re just guessing and shooting from the hip.”

Of those surveyed, 17 percent said they used a financial advisor, and 75 percent said they managed their money without outside help. Even without expert assistance, there are tools available to assist people. One of those is an online inflation calculator to determine how much one’s money will be worth in 10 or 20 years. There are also ways to boost savings, CNBC noted.

“You could find small daily amounts to cut out that add up to a couple thousand dollars a year,” said John Iammarino, president and founder of Securus Financial in San Diego.

Another suggestion is to try and pick up more money with a side job. “Today it’s so easy to pick up a second job or side job to bring in extra money,” said Kathryn Hauer, a CFP with Wilson David Investment Advisors in Aiken, South Carolina. “You can just put anything you make from that second job right into your savings.”

However, according to experts, the most helpful strategy is to prepare and prioritize. “When people have a plan that accounts for whether things go well or bad, they have a better chance of succeeding,” Iammarino said.