There’s really never a bad time for someone in the Chicago area to think about getting squared away on the financial front, but it is perhaps more common to think about it at this time of the year because of the approaching end of one year and the start of another. This is the time for making resolutions.

Every year at this time, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America conducts a survey to see what consumers expect to prioritize in the coming year. This year, the results show that health and wellness is what’s uppermost in the minds of Americans. Focusing on improving financial stability comes in a distant second.

Things broke down this way:

  • Health and Wellness – 44 percent
  • Financial stability – 29 percent
  • Career and/or employment – 13 percent
  • Education – 9 percent
  • Leisure and entertainment – 5 percent

Despite how that list displays there are some interesting twists in the results of the survey. For example, even though a large number of respondents put getting physically healthy at the top of their lists, if presented with the possibility of getting free professional guidance in any of the focus areas, respondents said they’d more likely seek help from a financial professional than a dietician or personal trainer.

Another intriguing insight is the fact that about one third of respondents didn’t even list financial planning on their resolutions lists. The most common reason being they don’t feel they make enough money to make it worth worrying about. At the same time, 29 percent of respondents acknowledged that they spend too much on unneeded things; 28 percent said they don’t save as much as they could; and 19 percent said they spend more than they earn.

What all of these folks likely would agree upon is that it can be easy to slip into a state of debt difficulty. Having a financial plan in place can stave off some trouble. But if problems do develop, the protection of filing for bankruptcy may be the shortest route to financial recovery. If you have such concerns you should be speaking with an experienced attorney.

Source:, “These are the top New Year’s resolutions for 2016,” Dec. 16, 2015