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Lesson Learned: Parents' Good Examples Key to Financial Preparedness

Genworth Releases First Edition of 'Psychology of Financial Planning' Research Series

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Genworth survey finds that Americans whose parents set good financial examples are more likely to be among the 62 percent of Americans who have a financial plan and feel confident in their financial future. 

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The first results of the Psychology of Financial Planning Survey, released today by Genworth, are part of a series of research findings that will be issued throughout 2013.  The purpose of the survey was to gain insights into the psyche of Americans about what prompts or restricts them from planning for their financial futures.

"One of Genworth's main goals in conducting this research is to figure out how we can best help consumers prepare for important financial events that will occur in their lives," said Pam Nelson , Genworth director of Customer Insights. "Often consumers are so focused on their immediate financial situations that it causes a mental block that prevents them from preparing for their financial futures. We are hoping to better understand and address consumer needs and fears with innovative products and resources that can get them on the road to financial success."

Surprisingly, younger Americans are taking steps early on to plan for their financial futures and are just as likely as other age groups to have a financial plan. Sixty-one percent of respondents ages 25 to 39 have a financial plan, compared with 61 percent of respondents age 40 to 50 and the 63 percent of respondents over the age of 60 with a plan. The finding is particularly insightful given the economic turmoil of the past several years, from the Great Recession to the Fiscal Cliff, indicating younger people have taken heed. 

"Since younger adults are characterized as living in the here and now, it might seem surprising that they are putting so much emphasis on long-term financial planning.  However, their current generation's foundational years are occurring in a period of economic hardship and decline which is shifting this paradigm," said Dr. Barbara Nusbaum , a New York-based psychologist and money coach.

Parental Examples: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

When explaining why people do and don't plan for their financial future, Dr. Nusbaum said an important factor is that we learn our financial feelings, attitudes and behaviors from our parents both through indirect teaching and observation.  The data confirms Dr. Nusbaum's psychological assessment with more than six in ten (61 percent) respondents who believe that their parents set a good example for them in terms of financial planning.  Respondents with good examples were more likely to have a financial plan and be confident in their financial future:

Had parents that set good financial examples

Didn't have parents that set good financial examples

Have a financial plan

66 percent

55 percent

Feel confident in their financial future

71 percent

53 percent

Fear not having enough money to live comfortably in retirement

33 percent

41 percent

Adds Olympic Gold Medalist and national Genworth spokesperson Wendy Boglioli , a motivational speaker who champions financial and physical fitness:  "Parents play such a pivotal role for their children – financially, physically and mentally – important life lessons that are passed on from generation to generation.

"My parents did not have much money," she said.  "In fact, my mom and dad raised seven kids on $1.90 an hour for over 20 years.  But they had a plan and stuck to a daily budget.  Their hard-earned money had to work for them in very creative ways.  Fortunately, my siblings and I learned to do the same thing."

While we internalize good and poor financial habits from our parents, Dr. Nusbaum points out that even without parents who set good financial examples, people can take it upon themselves to learn better financial habits and develop a plan for their future.  Dr. Nusbaum suggests the following tips to help consumers get back on track at any age:

Consumers can access the following survey to see how their financial planning habits and confidence compare with others:

About the Study

Psychology of Financial Planning Survey is a national survey conducted by Toluna and J&K Solutions on behalf of Genworth. The survey was administered online from December 7-11, 2012.  1023 adults ages 25+ with a household income in excess of $50,000 were surveyed.  The survey holds a 95% confidence with 3% margin of error.

Additional information about the survey, video content, tips and advice for consumers, which can also be used by financial advisors to leverage with clients, is available via our multimedia news release

About Genworth Financial

Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading Fortune 500 insurance holding company dedicated to helping people secure their financial lives, families and futures.  Genworth has leadership positions in offerings that assist consumers in protecting themselves, investing for the future and planning for retirement -- including life insurance, long term care insurance, financial protection coverages, and independent advisor-based wealth management -- and mortgage insurance that helps consumers achieve home ownership while assisting lenders in managing their risk and capital.

Genworth has approximately 6,300 employees and operates through three divisions: Insurance and Wealth Management, which includes U.S. Life Insurance, Wealth Management and International Protection segments; Global Mortgage Insurance, which includes U.S. and International Mortgage Insurance segments; and the Corporate and Runoff division. Its products and services are offered through financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors and sales specialists. Genworth Financial, Inc., which traces its roots back to 1871, became a public company in 2004 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit From time to time, Genworth Financial, Inc. releases important information via postings on its corporate website. Accordingly, investors and other interested parties are encouraged to enroll to receive automatic email alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds regarding new postings. Enrollment information is found under the "Investors" section of

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SOURCE Genworth Financial

Julie Westermann, +1-804-662-2423,; Jessica Fuller (Prosek Partners), +1-212-279-3115 ext. 256,

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