Young People Make More Financial Resolutions

Retirees are the least likely to resolve to improve their finances.

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Many young people are making new year’s resolutions to save more, spend less, and get out of debt. But the same thing can’t be said about their elders. Younger Americans are significantly more likely to make financial new year’s resolutions than those approaching retirement.

[See 11 Retirement Resolutions for 2011.]

A recent Fidelity Investments survey of 1,006 adults found that half of those between ages 18 and 34 have made a financial resolution, compared to just under a third (30 percent) of those over 55. A top priority for 20 and early 30-somethings in 2011 is saving more (65 percent), while only 38 percent of those between ages 35 and 54 say they are aiming to tuck away more for the future this year, the Fidelity telephone survey found. Younger Americans are also significantly more interested in establishing a financial plan (57 percent) than those between ages 35 and 64 (39 percent) and retirees over age 65 (16 percent).

[See Workers Fall Short of Retirement Savings Goals.]

Seniors are the group least likely to be taking steps to improve their finances. Retirees are significantly less likely than working Americans to resolve to improve their finances in 2011, according to a recent Harris Interactive online survey of 1,159 employees of small and mid-sized companies and 528 retirees age 60 and over commissioned by Principal Financial Group.

Nearly half (47 percent) of the retirees surveyed don’t intend to make any new year’s resolutions this year, compared to 29 percent of working survey respondents, Principal found. Among working respondents who made financial resolutions for 2011, the top aims are to pay off credit card debt and put a set amount into savings each month. The top financial new year’s resolution among retirees is to reduce spending.

[See 7 Reasons Retirement Will Be Difficult for Generation Y.]

While Americans of all ages think that 2011 is likely to be better than 2010, young people are the most optimistic, according to a recent Gallup poll of 1,019 adults. Some 69 percent of the survey respondents between ages 18 and 34 say that next year will be better, a percentage that gradually decreases with age to just half (51 percent) of those age 55 and older.