Northwestern Mutual study cites challenges for financial planning

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. Inc. released data from its 2013 Planning and Progress Study showing that more than six in ten (63 percent) Americans say their financial planning needs improvement; and that the No. 1 obstacle is not having enough time (24 percent).


“There’s an interesting parallel that exists between managing your finances and managing your day-to-day life in that it’s so easy to let short-term needs and wants over shadow the more critical long-term goals,” said Greg Oberland, Northwestern Mutual executive vice president. “We’re all susceptible, particularly today, as we’re often overloaded with information and over scheduled.”
Oberland added that Northwestern Mutual’s study results should be read as “a wake-up call to put long-term financial planning on our collective to-do lists.”
The majority of Americans (69%) say the pace of society makes it harder for them to stick with long-term goals.
More than one in four (26 percent) people say they either often or always feel too busy to think about long-term goals.
Just 16 percent say they are “Highly Disciplined,” meaning they know their goals, have a plan in place to meet them, and rarely deviate.
This is the first set of findings released from Northwestern Mutual’s 2013 Planning & Progress Study, which explores the state of financial planning in America today, and provides unique insights into people’s current attitudes and behaviors toward money, goal-setting and priorities.
The study was conducted by the independent research firm Harris Interactive. Northwestern Mutual will release additional results and a series of multi-media materials over the coming weeks.

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