Survey: Americans more concerned about political climate

Amid elevated volatility and concerns about an economic slowdown, Americans say that politics presented the most worrisome threat to their well-being, according to a recent survey by Allianz Life.

In its 10th annual New Year’s Resolution Study, Allianz gauged the threats most concerning to a sample of more than 1,200 Americans, finding that the most commonly cited threat was the state of the country’s political environment, named in the top two by 50% of the respondents.

In last year’s study, the political environment also topped the list of concerns, appearing in the top two most worrisome threats of 45% of the survey’s respondents.

Other chief concerns cited this year included terrorism threats, ranked in the top two by 37% of respondents; identity theft and cybersecurity, named by 29% of respondents; and climate change, named by 24% of respondents.

Market uncertainty slightly declined as a threat from 2017 to 2018, according to the survey, as it was named in the top two by 19% of respondents in 2018 after being named by 20% in 2017. This year, fewer Americans named issues like stagnant wages and job security as threats as well.

When asked to name their 2019 priorities, health and wellness topped the list, with 49% of respondents placing health and wellness in their top two. The second most commonly cited priority, financial stability, was named by 27% of respondents.

Less than one-third of the respondents said that they would be more likely to seek help from a professional financial planner in the coming year, but nearly one in five respondents planned to include financial planning in 2019 resolutions.

Millennials, described as being age 18 to 34, were significantly more likely to be interested in financial planning than other generations. Almost half of millennials, 47%, want to get financial planning assistance in 2019, compared with 26% of Generation X, aged 35 to 54, and 21% of respondents over the age of 55. Millennials were also most likely to name financial planning among their resolutions.

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