Easier to save for presents than pensions

Steve Gazzard, chief executive of the IFP, said: “We are glad to see some people are planning their finances for a specific event like Christmas, but it’s worrying to see that many are failing to plan for the bigger picture.”

His comments came after a YouGov survey was commissioned last month during National Financial Planning week, which found that more than one-third of Britons had already worked out their spending plans for Christmas this year, but only 4 per cent had a comprehensive, long-term financial plan.

Other findings from the survey showed that 2013 was a year when more people were worried about their finances.

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Some 82 per cent of respondents indicated that they worry about money some, most or all of the time compared to 80 per cent in 2012 and just 60 per cent in 2011.

Only 14 per cent of people said they usually seek help or advice from a professional adviser when making financial planning decisions.

Guy Myles, managing director of Octopus Investments said: “These figures show why it’s important for advisers and those in financial services to help more people address their planning needs, help them make smart decisions with their money, and show them the real value that advice can add in doing so.”

Darius McDermott, managing director of London-based Chelsea Financial Services said: “Austerity has been a word we have all had to become accustomed to in the past five years so I don’t think it is any surprise that more people are worrying about money now than in previous years, particularly as interest rate rises seem to be coming closer.

“It’s worrying that only 4 per cent have a financial plan and 11 per cent are thinking of getting one, but that doesn’t mean this few people have investible income and can do something about it. We obviously need to do more to help people get on a more solid financial footing though.”