Survey reveals Sacramentans are as pessimistic as the rest of America about their financial future but less likely to have a game plan
Tavis Smiley, Allied and Nationwide Insurance to hold financial empowerment workshops in Sacramento
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 15, 2009
Gayle Saunders (614) 249-3687
Vanesse Lloyd Sgambati (215) 888-4673
Sacramento, Calif. — Sacramentans are just as likely as the rest of the country to think their financial situation will get worse over the next year. However, they are much more likely to say they don't have a financial game plan, according to a new survey commissioned by The Smiley Group, Nationwide Insurance and its subsidiary Allied Insurance. To help the people of Sacramento plan for a brighter future, the On Your Side® Tour with Tavis Smiley is holding free financial and retirement planning workshops that focus on empowering people with information and resources.
"You have to be practical, proactive and prepared to weather this difficult economic climate," said Smiley. "This survey reveals the critical need in Sacramento for an honest assessment of our financial status and these workshops will help ensure that we are taking the steps necessary to safeguard the future for ourselves, our families and the next generation."
This free event is Sept. 19 at the Sacramento Convention Center, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Smiley will start the day with a general session, which will be followed by informational breakout sessions where participants will be able to ask questions and receive tools and resources on financial planning, career planning and insurance information. The five-city tour kicked off in Washington D.C., in June and was in Philadelphia last month. Additional 2009 scheduled stops include:
- October 10 in Charlotte, N.C.
- October 24 in Charleston, S.C.
The need to address financial literacy is highlighted in the survey of 1,600 Americans – including 383 in Sacramento – that shows a disconnect between Americans' attitudes and actions when it comes to personal financial planning.
While 31 percent of people in Sacramento expect their household
situation to be worse a year from now, compared to 29 percent of the U.S.
general population, only 15 percent say they have a written plan,
compared to 22 percent of the U.S. general population. In fact, most
people in Sacramento surveyed indicated they are not taking deliberate
actions to better their financial circumstances:
• Fewer than half say they are proactive about their financial future
• More than 4 in 5 say they do not have a written financial plan
• More than 1 in 4 say they don't know where to start when it comes to personal financial planning
• 7 in 10 do not have a professional financial advisor, because they don't think they need one or think they can't afford one
Nearly half of Sacramentans say they are confident in their ability to make savings and investment decisions, but more than 1 out of 4 also indicate they are struggling with credit card debt.
On saving for college, more than 1 in 3 of the people in Sacramento with children under 21 said they are very or extremely worried about being able to afford a college education for their children, while only 11 percent actually have a college savings plan. Only 5 percent say saving for education is their most important financial goal.
African Americans in Sacramento are optimistic
African Americans in Sacramento are much more optimistic than the city's general population (53 percent vs. 32 percent) that their financial situation will improve over the next year. However, most say they don't have a financial game plan and many don't know where to start:
• Only half of the African Americans in Sacramento say they are proactive about their financial future
• 3 in 4 say they do not have a written financial plan
• 1 in 5 say they don't know where to start when it comes to personal financial planning
• 3 in 4 do not have a professional financial advisor, because they don't think they need one or think they can't afford one
Nearly half of African Americans in Sacramento say they are confident in their ability to make savings and investment decisions, but 34 percent also indicate they are struggling with credit card debt.
Hungry for information
While most people in Sacramento don't have a formal financial advisor or financial plan, African Americans in Sacramento show a greater interest in obtaining financial and retirement planning information from seminars, financial advisors, the Internet, television, magazines, videos and insurance agents.
"This study is encouraging because it says that, despite the economic downturn, there is a strong desire in many Sacramento households to seek out advice and information to overcome the immediate financial challenges and plan for long-term dreams like college and retirement," said Bob O'Hollearn, regional vice president for Allied's Pacific Coast Region. "We're holding this workshop in Sacramento because Nationwide shares Tavis Smiley's passion about empowering people with information and resources that can help them plan for a brighter future and protect what matters most to each household."
Teachable moment for a generation
Parents in Sacramento are just as likely as other parents in the U.S. to have talked to their child about saving money. However, of those participants with children in school, more than 4 out of 5 acknowledge they have not researched if their school teaches about saving money.
"Providing our children and young adults with basic information about finances and personal financial planning will have a profound effect on how the next generation spends, saves and invests," said O'Hollearn. "It's crucial that all Americans seek advice and information from someone they trust. There are many places to find advice for free and there are also professionals to help."
About the survey
The national, online survey was conducted in January 2009 by the Blackstone Group. A Web panel was used to collect national data for 1,600 respondents split into four sample groups. General Population, ages 18+ (n=600) and African American, ages 18+ (n=600), General Population in Sacramento, ages 18+ (n=200) and African American in Sacramento, ages 18+ (n=200). The survey has a margin of error of +/- 7 percent.
About Tavis Smiley and The Smiley Group
Broadcaster Tavis Smiley is an author, philanthropist and host of Tavis Smiley on PBS and The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI (Public Radio International). Smiley has authored 14 books and made publishing history when the book he edited, Covenant with Black America, reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. His latest is Accountable: Making America as Good as Its Promise. The Smiley Group, Inc. is a communications corporation established in support of human rights and related empowerment issues. TSG serves as the holding company for various enterprises encompassing broadcast and print media, lectures, symposiums and the Internet. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Allied Insurance is a property and casualty insurer established in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1929. Allied operates in 34 states through a network of independent agents with regional offices in Denver, Colo., Des Moines, Iowa, Lincoln, Neb., Gainesville, Fla. and Sacramento, Calif. Allied has been a member of the Nationwide family of companies since 1998, and is responsible for Nationwide's independent agency system. Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is a Fortune 500 company and one of the country's largest multi-line insurers and financial services organizations. Information is available at www.alliedinsurance.com.
Nationwide, the Nationwide Framemark and On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.