An Allstate news release said its latest Retirement Reality Check found that respondents in general consider themselves disciplined. Yet one-third of the respondents rated quitting smoking and saving for retirement as equally difficult for most people to accomplish (32% and 31% respectively). In comparison, shedding excess pounds was cited as most difficult by only 25% of the respondents.
At the same time, nearly half the survey respondents (44%) acknowledged that the most effective first step to achieving success is setting a goal or having a plan in place to help them save more, quit smoking or reach a healthy weight. And nearly a third (29%) said getting advice from a professional would be an effective first step.
Baby Boomers and women who responded to Allstate’s survey ranked stopping smoking and saving for retirement as their No. 1 challenges, and both groups rated losing weight as the second hardest goal to accomplish. A slightly higher percentage of men (33%) rated quitting smoking as more difficult than saving for retirement (31%), while more women (26%) than men (23%) rated losing weight as hardest to accomplish.
Regionally, respondents living in the West rated saving for retirement as the toughest of the three challenges (38%), followed by those in the Midwest (32%), the South (28%) and the Northeast (26%).
Only those living in the South ranked losing weight (31%) as more difficult than either saving for retirement (28%) or quitting smoking (26%), while respondents from the Northeast were the sole group to rank saving for retirement as the least difficult challenge (26%), ranking stopping smoking as No. 1 (32%) and losing weight as No. 2 (27%). Midwesterners said giving up cigarettes is the most difficult (37%), followed by saving for retirement (32%) and losing weight (20%).