By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —
With many Americans struggling with day-to-day finances, it’s no surprise that a new survey finds many are having difficulty planning their financial futures.

The sluggish U.S. economy hasn’t made it easy for a lot of American households to think about their financial future. A new survey from the Consumer Federation of America and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards asked financial decision-makers in families about their money planning during the nation’s economic recovery. Less than one-third said they have a comprehensive financial plan.

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Planning is not just about retirement. It’s about shorter-term goals too. Kevin Keller, CEO for the CFPB says, “Certainly people think about retirement, but education planning, planning for rainy days, emergencies, credit management, and estate planning and taxes, all are an important part of financial planning.”

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More than half of those surveyed said investing just seems too complicated, or that it’s difficult to know who to trust for financial advice.

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Simple saving can be a good start. Don’t skip it because you can’t throw a lot of money at a long-term goal. Small increments can add up if you start early on a child’s education fund or a retirement fund, and it’s okay to revise a plan. You can always revisit your needs based on life events like the arrival of a new child or a change in salary.