Financial and Physical Well-Being Go Hand-in-Hand for a Majority of Americans, Survey Finds

Health and finances tend to dominate the New Year’s resolutions that Americans make each year, but is there a correlation between the two? In other words, are people who are financially fit more likely to achieve their physical fitness goals and, on the flip side, are physically fit consumers more likely to have their finances under control? To get answers to these questions, TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, surveyed 1,444 consumers who had made New Year’s resolutions. The results were illuminating: The vast majority reported that financial and physical fitness goals go hand-in-hand.

According to the TD Fiscal Fit survey, seven in ten Americans feel that sound financial health can have a positive impact on their overall health and well-being. This number increases to eight in ten among those with a financial plan. Furthermore, a vast majority (81 percent) of consumers agree that when their finances are in order, other goals are easier to accomplish.

When it comes to their current fiscal and physical health status, only about one-third of respondents (36 percent) said they are satisfied with their current financial health. Yet among those who are satisfied with their physical health, 65 percent said they are also satisfied with their financial health.

“It’s no surprise that getting your finances in order can relieve stress, but our research shows that it can also positively affect physical fitness,” said Ryan Bailey, head of retail deposit products, TD Bank. “With resolutions still top of mind, it’s important for Americans to know that working on your wallet can also benefit your waistline. You don’t have to choose one or the other.”

Health and Finances Top 2015 Goals, But Progress Is Mixed
According to the TD Fiscal Fit survey, 80 percent of Americans set health-related goals for the New Year, including eating healthier, losing weight and getting in shape. Additionally, more than two-thirds of Americans (69 percent) made financial goals for 2015, such as saving more, spending less and being more financially responsible.

Achieving those goals is a different story. So far, progress on keeping those 2015 resolutions has been mixed, with those who set financial goals lagging slightly behind those who set physical goals. Overall, 51 percent of survey respondents said they have already started working on their resolutions and are doing well, while 49 percent haven’t started yet or have already given up. Among those who set health-related resolutions, 55 percent are doing well, compared to only 46 percent of those who set fiscal resolutions.

The survey also points to the positive impact that financial health can have on reaching physical fitness goals. According to the data, respondents who are satisfied with their current financial well-being are more likely to be doing well with their health-related goals, with 66 percent reporting that they have already begun working on their health goals (compared to 55 percent overall).

“More than half of Americans aren’t doing as well as they’d hoped with their 2015 financial goals, but they shouldn’t feel defeated,” said Bailey. “January 1 is a great day to start fresh, but so is any other day. For advice on how to implement a plan and achieve fiscal goals, consumers should reach out to their bankers. That’s why we’re here.”

Millennials Approach 2015 Differently
Millennials are often perceived as lazy in comparison to their older counterparts, yet according to the TD Bank survey this generation is approaching 2015 more ambitiously than Gen-Xers and Boomers. More than half (51 percent) of Millennial respondents (ages 18 – 34) who set financial goals for 2015 said they are coming along “great” thus far, compared to only 40 percent of Gen-Xers (ages 35 – 54) and 47 percent of Boomers (ages 55+). The research also found that 68 percent of Millennials said they are confident they will achieve their financial goals for 2015, compared to 61 percent of Gen-Xers and 55 percent of Boomers.

Additionally, more Millennials plan to seek professional assistance to help achieve their goals for 2015 than their older counterparts. According to the survey, 17 percent of Millennials will seek professional assistance for their resolutions, compared to just 9 percent of Gen-Xers and 8 percent of Boomers.

There is also a stronger perceived correlation between achieving financial and physical fitness goals among Millennials. When it comes to whether or not they feel they need to get their finances in order before they can focus on health and fitness, 51 percent of Millennials agree, compared to only 36 percent of Gen-Xers and 21 percent of Boomers.

Going into the New Year, Men Are More Confident
According to the TD Bank survey, men are more confident about achieving their resolutions than their female counterparts. For instance, more than half (52 percent) of men who set financial goals for 2015 said they are coming along “great” thus far, compared to only 40 percent of women. Also, 42 percent of men are currently satisfied with the state of their financial health, compared to 29 percent of women. In addition, 45 percent of men report feeling satisfied with their physical health, compared to only 30 percent of women.

Additionally, the survey found that men prioritize achieving financial health over physical health more than women, with 42 percent of male respondents agreeing that they need to get their finances in order before they can focus on health and fitness, compared to only 29 percent of women.

In conjunction with this survey, TD Bank is helping customers achieve their financial and physical fitness goals. Starting on January 25 and extending through March 7, or while supplies last, new customers who open qualifying banking, savings, checking and debit card accounts will get a Fitbit Flex™ activity and sleep tracker (from TD Bank.)

Survey Methodology
The study was conducted among a nationally representative sample of Americans who have set 2015 goals for themselves or made New Year’s resolutions. Interviews were completed from January 13 – 19, 2015. The sample size of 1,444 has a margin of error of +/- 2.6%. The survey was hosted by global research company Vision Critical.

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