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One Third of Americans Have No Financial Plan, Study Says

If you think you need to put your financial house in order but haven't taken any steps to follow through, you're not alone.

If you think you need to put your financial house in order but haven't taken any steps to follow through, you're not alone.

Some 58 percent of Americans believe their financial-planning efforts need improvement, but 34 percent of us have done nothing to plan for our financial futures, according to a newly released study by Northwestern Mutual.

The study is based on an online survey of 5,474 American adults ages 18 and older, conducted earlier this year by Harris Poll on behalf of Northwestern Mutual. The survey results were weighted to U.S. Census Bureau targets for education, age and gender, race and ethnicity, and region and household.

According to Northwestern Mutual, the findings demonstrate that there is a deep disconnect between what Americans know they should do when it come to their finances and what they're actually doing. For instance, two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) consider themselves "savers," but more than half of us (54 percent) have a level of debt that is equal to or exceeds our savings.

Although many Americans are worried about having enough money during retirement, it appears that only a fraction of us are seeking help when it comes to planning for retirement.

Two in five Americans (43 percent) have not "spoken to anyone," friends and family included, about retirement planning, according to the study. What's more, 21 percent of Americans are "not at all confident" that they will be able to reach their financial goals.

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