A third want to manage their money better this New Year

Managing finances better is an important New Year’s resolution, with retirement income and pension saving topping the list of concerns, according to new research.

A new survey from Friends Life has revealed a renewed enthusiasm for financial planning. The research found that almost a third (32%) of us are more confident about finances than at this time last year, but that many are still concerned about the cost of living and their future prospects. Those who are feeling more confident than last year put it down to an improvement in their employment prospects, as well as their own efforts to save more and budget better.

Managing finances better came third in the list of important New Year’s resolutions, behind improving fitness and spending more time with friends and family. Overall, 75% of those surveyed believe that financial planning will be important to them in 2014. Retirement income (32%) and pension savings (29%) topped the list of financial concerns, while credit card bills was cited as a concern by 23% of people.

David Still, managing director of retirement income at Friends Life, commented on the findings:

“It is interesting to see how optimism and confidence affects our retirement planning. It’s clear to see that many of us are feeling more hopeful about the year ahead and are resolved to fix our finances while the going is good.

“Not all of us are feeling the benefits of economic recovery, a quarter of us (27%) report feeling less confident about our personal finances than last year and attribute this to changes in the cost of living, employment changes or worries about the global economy.

“We all want to enjoy a fulfilling retirement and taking responsibility and planning early can help you achieve this.”

He went on to comment on the lack of financial education and faith in the industry:

“That so many lack understanding of financial terms such as annuity, and that so few trust professional counsel, suggests the industry must set itself a New Year’s Resolution to better explain the value of pensions to the public.”