CFP Board Survey: Consumers More Confident About Their Own Finances, Not Expecting Rebound in U.S. Economy

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Paul R. Streiber, M.B.A., CFP® of Heritage Financial Planning (http://www.HeritageFinancialPlanning.com) supports release of national survey on consumer confidence and personal finances that finds Americans with a financial plan are more upbeat on their personal economic outlook, encourages people to “Let’s Make a Plan”

Even with a turbulent economy, Americans are more optimistic about their personal financial futures than that of the overall economy, and those who have planned have a more upbeat outlook, according to a survey released by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. and supported by Paul R. Streiber, M.B.A., CFP® of Heritage Financial Planning (http://www.HeritageFinancialPlanning.com) in Dallas, Texas.

“While our country continues to grapple with sustained unemployment and other economic headwinds, Americans have a more positive outlook on their own personal finances. And those people who have a financial plan believe that their own financial situation will improve over the next year and are willing to contribute to the economy by spending more,” said Charles A. Moran, CFP®, Chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors.

“Having a concrete financial plan to achieve and maintain financial independence is critical, especially given our current economic circumstances,” said Paul Streiber. Retirement planning, along with estate planning, education planning, tax planning and risk management and other disciplines are the cornerstones of a sound financial plan.

Of the 1,011 adults participating in the telephone survey, findings showed:

  •     The majority of Americans (59 percent) are not confident that the overall economy will rebound within the next year.
  •     The majority of respondents have experienced negative fallout from the recession with 53 percent having delayed making a big purchase and 45 percent dipping into their savings.
  •     Despite the weak confidence in the economy as a whole, Americans have a slightly more encouraging attitude with regard to their own finances, with 83 percent saying their personal financial situation would remain the same or improve during the upcoming year.
  •     Planning ahead for financial goals makes a significant impact on people’s outlook – with 58 percent of Americans indicating that they would feel more confident about their finances if they had a financial plan in place.
  •     More than four in five (86 percent) respondents agree with the statement, “Everyone should have a financial plan. Even if you have very little money it is good to know in advance how you will spend it and the best means of growing what you have.”
  •     Nearly four out of five people (79 percent) claim to have a financial plan; however, the majority do not have an official, written document as almost half (46 percent) said they just have a plan in their head, and 11 percent only have notes or ideas written down. 42 percent of respondents said they had an official written plan.
  •     Trust in financial planners is shaken due to the recent financial crisis. However, if given one hour with a financial planner, people would take advantage of it – focusing on retirement and budget planning. 36 percent of Americans reported working with a financial planner or advisor.

Paul Streiber said that these results are more evidence that people need to understand the importance of a financial plan as too many Americans are not yet taking the necessary steps to formalize it in a concrete, comprehensive way. One way to move toward making a plan is to get information about CFP® professionals and the financial planning process at http://www.LetsMakeaPlan.org.

“Creating and following through with a financial plan can be overwhelming for many people. This survey shows the importance of our efforts to educate consumers about the value of financial planning,” said Paul Streiber. “There are many different sources of advice, and consumers need to be aware of the breadth of options to identify the resource that best suits their individual needs. For many, turning to a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help them develop an actionable strategy for meeting their financial goals.”

Methodology
KRC Research conducted 1,011 telephone interviews among a representative sample of Americans 18 years of age or older. The margin of error for the entire sample is plus or minus 3.1 percent. The survey was fielded nationally June 2-6, 2011.

Results of the entire survey can be at CFP.net.

Paul R. Streiber, M.B.A., CFP®, is a financial planner and wealth manager with Heritage Financial Planning, serving a select group of clients who require objective, fee-only comprehensive financial planning and wealth management, including retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, education planning and risk management. Streiber’s professional experience includes many years in various aspects of financial services, including personal finance, banking, and corporate finance. Prior to passing the 10-hour, two-day long CFP® certification examination, Streiber earned a Certificate in Financial Planning from the University of North Texas, a M.B.A. in Finance from the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester and a B.A. in Economics from Drew University.

About Heritage Financial Planning
Heritage Financial Planning is a fee-only comprehensive financial planning and wealth management firm known for putting its clients first and helping them understand their current financial positions and the steps necessary to meet their goals and objectives. Heritage Financial Planning serves a select group of clients who require objective, fee-only comprehensive financial planning and wealth management, including retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, education planning and risk management. Heritage Financial Planning was founded in 2004 by Steve Blankenship, CFP®, a nationally recognized financial planner, who has helped high net worth individuals in the DFW Metroplex and across the U.S. achieve personal financial goals and objectives for more than 15 years. Heritage Financial Planning is online at http://www.HeritageFinancialPlanning.com.

About CFP Board
The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 63,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.

Contact:    Paul R. Streiber
            Heritage Financial Planning
            (817) 410-5725
            paul(at)heritagefinancialplanning(dot)com

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