Through the study, Guardian elicited a pattern of behaviors exhibited by Confident Planners or just 21% of respondents. These individuals are most likely to credit their success to four specific behaviors:
- Education: The Confident Planners have higher levels of education as well as financial competence, as measured by an assertion of basic understanding of financial concepts and products.
- Plan: These individuals are more likely to live within their means and have some form of a written plan with specific details and clearly outlined objectives.
- Ownership: Most own products appropriate for their financial goals that incorporate both growth and protection solutions.
- Partnership: The majority work closely with an adviser and use some type of planning tool.
“Making a few small changes in how you approach your finances can put you on track to be more financially confident and ultimately help you live a more satisfied, less-stressed life,” suggests Matthew Bryan, assistant vice president at Guardian.
He concludes, “The happiest and least-stressed Americans are the most financially literate, are more likely to have a detailed plan, and own appropriate products to financially protect their families. Advisers can help by taking a holistic approach that identifies the gaps in their clients’ current behaviors and then laying out a blueprint to address those gaps for a more financially confident future that models the behaviors of the most confident Americans.”
Guardian conducted a national online survey of 4,971 Americans age 18 and older who are currently employed full-time or part-time, have never retired, and have household incomes of $50,000 or more.
For more information about The Guardian Study of Financial and Emotional Confidence, visit guardianlife.com. Guardian’s Financial Confidence Quiz can be accessed here.