Having a plan in place lent a lot of people added confidence throughout the recent recession, but the professional planners themselves might want to double-check before taking credit.
According to the CFP Board of Standards, people who consider themselves as having a financial plan are about 30% more likely to be optimistic about the economic outlook and are also significantly more likely to spend their money to enhance their quality of life.
That's a good demonstration of the power of planning. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean that all these people have been visiting financial planners -- 72% of all the people who say they have "a financial plan" were really just talking about sketches on the back of a napkin at best.
Another surprise: according to the CFP Board data, formal financial plans have already moved pretty far down the age scale.
A full 90% of the people they talked to aged 35 to 44 say they have financial plans, and a full 42% of that crowd say their plan is a formal written document created by a professional.
From there, naturally, the numbers get even better in favor of planner-built plans.
But it raises an interesting question. Are planners getting most of their new business from 40-year-olds? Or are affluent pre-retirees still the biggest market here?