Despite increasing pressure to slash debt and rebuild retirement funds, nearly two-thirds of consumers do not have a written financial plan, according to the 2009 National Consumer Survey on Personal Finance. The survey, released today by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, found that 64% of respondents do not have a written financial plan in place.
But those with a college degree, higher household incomes and more assets to invest are more likely to have one. Of the 284 respondents who have a written financial plan in place, 62% were motivated to have one because of retirement goals and planning. Meanwhile, 48% wanted advice on a broad range of financial matters, 41% were focused on savings goals and planning and 36% were concerned with investment goals and planning. The CFP spoke to 1,742 respondents in total.
Respondents who don’t use a financial planner are hesitant because their pecuniary situation is not complicated enough. Most are confused about what a financial planner does or believe that it’s too expensive to use one.
So take note: It’s important to develop a healthy baseline [financial plan] and not just use it in times of crisis. As the saying goes, people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.