Despite a heavy focus on the state of the economy as we enter the new year, just 32 percent of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution to improve their financial situation in 2013, according to a new 2013 Outlook Survey released by TD Ameritrade, Inc. (“TD Ameritrade”), a brokerage subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE:AMTD). While half of respondents said 2012 was a tough year financially, overall, Americans said they still prefer to make health-related resolutions (42%) over money-related resolutions (16%). The top three New Year’s resolutions for 2013 are related to health (50%), self-improvement (41%) and work/life balance (41%).
“Living through a difficult economic environment means people are forced to focus on their financial health every single day—it’s bigger than a once-a-year goal. So, it makes sense that people turn their focus to personal well-being when resolving to make changes in the new year,” said Carrie Braxdale, managing director, investor services, TD Ameritrade. “Making financial goals and taking actionable steps to achieve them is something we should all do throughout the year.”
Regardless of the type of resolution made, few manage to stick with them throughout the year. Nearly 80 percent of respondents believe they will be somewhat likely to, very likely to, or will definitely achieve the goals they set for 2013. But the reality is just 20 percent will completely achieve their goals if the success rate seen in 2012 repeats itself.
The survey uncovered a common recipe for achieving New Year’s resolutions. In 2011, those who set and met a goal of improving their financial situation in 2012 reported the following top reasons for reaching their objective:
- Setting realistic/achievable goals
- Having a plan and sticking to it
- Tracking progress
- Remaining positive, regardless of challenges faced
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