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Ten Worst Financial Habits: Did Yours Make the List?

Michael Blann | Digital Vision | Getty Images

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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