New Citizens Bank Survey Finds Emotional Benefits of Financial Planning Makes Plans Stickier for Consumers, and Starting Early Boosts Financial Confidence

Financial plans are a critical but underutilized component of financial management, according to a new survey from Citizens Bank Wealth Management and Mintel. The survey, which evaluated consumers’ financial planning attitudes and behaviors, found that only 55 percent of adults have a firm financial plan, but of those without a plan, three-in-four people recognize the need for one.

Fear is often a barrier to planning, but those with a financial plan are more confident and positive about their current and future finances than those without one highlighting one of the many emotional benefits of having an organized approach. Planners reported a high level of confidence (87%) and a positive outlook on their financial security (75%). Leading drivers of this confidence were starting a plan early in adulthood, the long-term focus and discipline of having a plan, and meeting often with an advisor to stay updated on financial issues. Nearly three quarters of respondents cited the personal satisfaction of being organized for their future as their primary reason for sticking to their financial plan, with a centralized location for managing finances ranking second (63%), underscoring the impact of organization on financial peace of mind.

“With the tremendous impact your financial wellness has on your overall wellness, we view financial plans as an essential tool in alleviating some of the anxieties around financial security,” said John Bahnken, president of Citizens Bank Wealth Management. “For many, it’s a challenge to shift the balance from the fear-based attitudes about finances to the wellness benefits rooted in positive emotion and personal satisfaction. People often underestimate the benefit of something as simple as being organized, and this survey has demonstrated that it really can transform your thinking and your commitment to following through on your plan.”

Additionally, gender appears to play a role in both attitudes about financial planning and expectations around advisory relationships. One-in-three women believe financial planning should begin in early adulthood, compared to one-in-four men; however, women were less likely than men to have a firm financial plan (53% compared to 59%) and felt less financially secure (59% compared to 70% of men). When working with an advisor, women tend to place greater emphasis on relationship factors than men. They were more likely to consider a tailored plan aligned to their preferences (71%) and a consistent engagement with plan revisions (58%) as the most important factors in an advisory relationship.

“This research has pointed to several ways we can help women achieve greater financial confidence and security,” said Maggie Wall, head of Premier Advisory at Citizens Bank Wealth Management. “Women want to be part of the process – to collaborate, to see options that reflect they’ve been heard, and to be given the tools to understand and make informed decisions about those options.”

Survey Methodology
On behalf of Citizens Financial Group, Mintel conducted a nationally representative online survey of 1,648 consumers in October-November 2018. All respondents were financial decision-makers for their household and between the ages of 25 and 74.

About Citizens Bank Wealth Management
Citizens Bank Wealth Management provides integrated banking and investing services to clients to help them grow and protect their wealth, and plan for retirement and other long-term financial objectives. Citizens Bank Wealth Management includes a brokerage arm, Citizens Investment Services, as well as Premier Advisory and Citizens Private Wealth Management, which serve the affluent and high net worth client segments, respectively. Citizens Private Wealth Management delivers comprehensive private banking, financial planning, investment management and trust and estate planning services. Collectively, Citizens Bank Wealth Management’s approximately 900 colleagues are focused on delivering comprehensive wealth management services across the firm’s major markets.

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $158.6 billion in assets as of September 30, 2018. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 2,900 ATMs and approximately 1,150 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products and asset finance. More information is available at or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.


Megan Griffin

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