While money talks, people apparently don’t talk about itNews added by Benefits Pro on February 21, 2014

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By Paula Aven Gladych

Americans believe that discussing personal finance is just as difficult as speaking about religion and politics, according to Wells Fargo’s Financial Health study.

Nearly half of Americans say the most challenging topic to discuss is personal finances, followed by death, politics, religion, taxes and personal health.

Thirty-nine percent of Americans report that money is the biggest stress in their life and 39 percent say they are more stressed about finances than they were last year. Thirty-three percent of respondents admit they lose sleep worrying about money.

When asked what they would do differently if they could go back five years, more adults cite regrets about saving and spending, 49 percent, than about shortcomings in all other areas of their life, including taking better care of themselves through diet and fitness, pursuing different personal relationships and working more to improve their career.

For financial health and saving money, the hardest part is “knowing the best approach” and “sticking to a plan,” according to 35 percent of respondents. Only 9 percent said motivation was the biggest barrier for improving financial health. About a third report they are more worried about their financial health than their physical health.

“When someone is physically out of shape, they typically understand that eating well and exercising more will help get them back on track,” said Karen Wimbish, director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo. “With money, however, there’s a lack of understanding about the importance of designing a plan. Only a third of adults have some type of financial plan or a simple household budget in place, which means most Americans don’t have the roadmap needed to improve their financial health.”

A majority of Americans feel financially healthy when it comes to paying for basic needs, but they aren’t as confident when trying to control spending or save for retirement and emergencies. Sixty-seven percent said they felt good or great about their ability to pay monthly bills and 56 percent felt the same about their ability to live within their means. Only 40 percent felt financially good or great about their amount of discretionary spending and their rainy day savings. Only one-third felt they were in good financial shape for retirement.

The online survey of more than 1,000 adults was conducted by Market Probe, Inc., and was designed to take the pulse of Americans’ perceptions of their own financial health.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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