Most Americans make financial mistakesNews added by Benefits Pro on March 20, 2013

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By Paula Aven Gladych

Nearly 80 percent of Americans admit to making financial mistakes, including not saving enough for retirement, not tracking their spending and taking on too much debt.

According to a new survey by financial services firm Edward Jones, 26 percent of respondents said they haven’t saved enough for retirement. Twenty percent said they don’t do a good job of tracking what they spend and 13 percent said they took on too much debt.

"When it comes to long-term savings goals like retirement or education expenses, we cannot stress enough that taking an early and managed approach is the best way to tackle the process," said Scott Thoma, Investment Strategist for Edward Jones. "Getting started with an investing program can be a daunting step for many people. For the one-fifth of Americans who admit to not paying enough attention to their expenses, a very simple step could be to skip that $3 coffee in the morning or think twice about that second night of takeout and instead allocate that money to a long-term savings platform. Every little bit really does count when you're talking about investing for future financial goals."

Individuals between the age of 35 and 44 were the most likely to say their biggest money mistake was not saving enough for retirement. Only 24 percent of individuals over the age of 65 and 15 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 expressed the same concern.

Younger people are the ones most likely to not pay enough attention to their spending or overall finances.

Only 10 percent of those over age 65 targeted unaccounted spending habits as their top money mistake. Almost 20 percent of respondents in the oldest age group said they have not made any money mistakes.

Eight percent of survey respondents said that bad investments were their biggest money mistake, with more men than women responding this way.

"We find that clients who have made the commitment to an investment program quickly gain confidence in their ability to meet their future financial goals," continued Thoma. "While every investor will experience some bumps in the road, we remind them that keeping a long-term view is essential - a sentiment that seems to be reflected in this data."

The survey was based on 1,008 telephone and cell phone interviews of U.S. adults from Feb. 21-24, 2013.

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