Data and Research

Setting Goals Helps Employees Stay on Track for Retirement

Lincoln found those who are successful with their goals don’t sacrifice savings.

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | July 11, 2017
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Lincoln Financial asked survey participants for open-ended responses about their 2017 financial goals, and found that priorities for those individuals with specific goals tend to focus on some key themes: reducing debt, general savings and saving for retirement.

While about one-third of the general population set specific financial goals, the number jumps up to just less than half of Millennials. Many Americans (55%) also made New Year’s resolutions for 2017. Thirty-six percent of those resolutions focused on finances or career, others mostly focused on health and fitness.

Most Americans (72%) say they are progressing with their resolutions in some way, versus 28% who are challenged in moving forward. Those who are successful with their goals use extra funds to pay down debt. Fifty percent of the individuals surveyed say debt is a financial issue, and 14% say it is a “major” issue. However, those who show progress toward their resolutions make reducing debt a priority. About one-third of this group would use any leftover money each month toward paying debt.

Lincoln found those who are successful with their goals don’t sacrifice savings. When money is tight, this group is likely to sacrifice vacations—31% have actually done so in the past year. However, they never skimp on savings. Nearly 60% say they have never sacrificed savings. In addition, Americans who are successful with their financial goals leverage financial products. Those who are progressing with their resolutions are more likely to have a retirement plan (52%), life insurance (45%) and at least one investment account (44%).

NEXT: Addressing financial fears

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