Northwestern Mutual has made an in-depth evaluation of the state of financial planning in America and Americans’ ability to stay on course over the long-term to meet their goals. Part of the assessment was aimed at determining how Americans are responding to the current economic and political climate and understanding whether or not Americans feel they are “moving in the right direction” in terms of saving, spending, and finances. The survey covered 1,546 Americans who were at least 25 years of age.
All told, the data seems to indicate that Americans have problems planning out their finances. But nonetheless, although the household debt service ratio and the financial obligations ratio ticked up last quarter, to 10.5 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively, the previous quarter’s values were the lowest on record since those figures were first recorded in 1980. What this disparity seems to indicate is that while consumers are increasingly becoming wary of taking on new debt, given the troubles faced during the financial crisis, they may not be able to handle the debt they do have.
Here are six facts that prove Americans’ lack of financial planning skills: