In 2016, other than faith and family, Americans have their sights set on wellness above all else according to the 7th annual New Year’s Resolution Survey* from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®). Almost half (44%) of respondents reported their top focus for 2016 will be on health/wellness, with financial stability trailing at 29% of those surveyed. These focus areas came ahead of career/employment (13%), education (9%) and entertainment/leisure (5%).

Even though health/wellness topped the list of focus areas for respondents, when asked which New Year’s resolutions they are most likely to make and actually keep, health and finances ranked almost equally. Forty-three percent of those surveyed said they are most likely to make and keep their resolution of diet/exercise and 41% resolve to manage money better. And yet, nearly one in three respondents didn’t include financial planning in their resolutions because they “don’t make enough money to worry about it.”

“Regardless of income level, it’s imperative that people build a successful financial plan. Keep in mind that financial stability helps improve wellness overall,” said Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe. “We know from our research that financial health weighs heavily on people’s minds – stagnant wages were a top concern and one in three respondents reported they fear another major recession may happen in 2016. By taking the appropriate actions to secure their financial future, people can weather economic volatility and improve other areas of their lives.”

Aligning with their New Year’s resolutions, respondents are more open to getting help with their financial decisions despite the fact that their top focus is wellness. If given free access to professional guidance, more respondents chose a financial professional (37%) than a nutritionist/dietician (28%) or a personal trainer (23%). Additionally, in terms of taking action, respondents believe the top three things that could improve their finances in 2016 are building their savings for emergencies, paying off credit card debt and making a budget.