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Top 10 worst financial habits

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Have you set retirement planning goals for 2013?

If your answer is "no," then join the club. Some 84 percent of Americans surveyed by Allianz Life Insurance Co. said they had not included any financial resolutions among their goals for the new year.

Allianz also asked people 55 and older to identify their worst financial habits. More than one-third -- 37 percent -- replied that they had no bad financial habits. I have my doubts they were telling the truth. The list that the other two-thirds confessed sounds too familiar.

Here are the top 10. Do you recognize yourself?

  1. I spend too much money on things I don't need: 20 percent.
  2. I'm not saving any money: 23 percent.
  3. I'm saving some money, but not as much as I could: 20 percent.
  4. I don't have a household budget: 15 percent.
  5. I spend more money than I make: 13 percent.
  6. I'm not educating myself about retirement finances: 12 percent.
  7. I only make the minimum payment on credit cards: 8 percent.
  8. I can't resist gambling -- or at least playing the lottery: 10 percent.
  9. I haven't pursued professional financial help planning retirement: 8 percent.
  10. I'm not contributing to my employer-sponsored retirement plan (401(k) or 403(b)/457): 4 percent.

Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life, says she believes that the number of people who spend too much money on things that they don't need -- often at the expense of retirement savings -- is much higher than 20 percent. "You could probably ask anybody, and they'd tell you they spend money on things they don't need," she says.

What surprises her is the number of people who say they aren't saving any money at all. She attributes this to a lack of financial discipline over a lifetime and says the price for many of these boomers will be a pinched retirement. "If you spend all your  money on your short-term goals, you are going to be out of luck on your long-term goals," she cautions.

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December 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

give 10% to your church?! YES, that's great financial advice. Hey, if anyone out there want's to try that and doesn't have "a church", then please consider my church and send your payments, er, "tithe", to: Church of The Rising Son, 512 Pilgrimage Rd, West Palm Beach Fl 33461 Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New Year!

December 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm

best financial advice, come to know Jesus Christ as your LORD and Saviour!!! tithe to HIM the 10% he asks for thru his Word! KJV 1611 version of the Bible, and trust in HIM with all your heart!!! SIMPLE!!!! HE has blessed me and my family beyond my wildest dreams!!!!

December 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Dan apparently you do not work. Many people NEED their smartphone for business.

December 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm

People usually don't mention the smartphone and cable costs when they are complaining about prices. 150-200 dollars is not uncommon per you really need that smartphone????

December 29, 2012 at 11:40 am

do you really think that in todays economy anyone in the middle class has any money left over. So if anyone has anything left over its not for the family or themselfs. It now goes to bank fees, more taxes, higher gas prices, higher food prices or less food for the same price,ect. ect. ect. How much more can the american people give to stay even when our wages dont go up but down.

William A
December 29, 2012 at 11:00 am


December 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Fortunately, I spend less than a make while still maxing out an IRA, however, I rarely am able to stay within the budget constraints I put on myself as I like the budget total to be significantly under what I make. *sigh*

RG Rude
December 28, 2012 at 7:40 am

While it may seem like these top 10 financial bad habits are so obvious and you expected some intricate financial magic that would lead to a epiphany that has never been revealed to the masses...... It is this obvious. Further, many people have several of these problems and never seem to get a handle on them. We live above our means, we don't do a monthly budget and then instead of having cash stashed away for emergencies, we reach for the credit card. Many people in this country have been poorly educated in handling money. Further, the constant bombardment of advertising temps people to lead a lifestyle that they don't presently have the income to sustain. Check out Dave Ramsey on how to handle money.

crs ruberto
December 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

do you get paid to write this ? wow i need this job

December 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Thank you captain obvious!