RADNOR, Pa., May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) announced today results of a survey that show that four in five Americans (80%) are optimistic about the future. According to the study, which Lincoln Financial refers to as Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America, the percentage of people who exhibit optimism is up eight points from 2011, the last time the company conducted the research. The survey also found that slightly more than four in 10 (43%) of Americans polled feel the country is on the right track, nearly two in three (64%) believe the economy has gotten better since the downturn, and almost eight in 10 (78%) are optimistic about their overall financial futures. Steps in the Right Direction In addition, 68 percent of study participants (compared to 66% in 2011) identify themselves as being "in control," a mindset that combines how comfortable respondents feel about their overall life, personal/family life, health and financial future. Not surprisingly, being debt-free (75%), staying within a budget (70%), paying credit card bills in full each month (68%) and putting money away for retirement (62%) were identified by these respondents as very important financial steps to take to gain control. "Empowering people to take charge is a core tenet of what Lincoln Financial stands for in the marketplace," said Dennis R. Glass, president and CEO of Lincoln Financial Group. "We continue to believe financial preparedness is best when it is rooted in optimism that leads to action, and it is promising that so many Americans are not only confident about the future, but are also taking steps to gain control of it." Little Things Go a Long Way Lincoln Financial's latest poll also found that, more broadly, being empowered and living life with a "take charge" attitude is driven by everyday behaviors. This is true regardless of someone's race, age or socioeconomic status.