According to the first-ever Life Tracks Poll from Allstate, nearly a third of New Jersey residents don't have retirement savings or life insurance. While 82 percent say they've done at least "some" planning for their long-term finances, 18 percent don't have any type of savings account.

Flickr User 401 (K) 2012

By wide margins, the poll found single Americans are much less likely than married Americans to have basic financial products like life insurance.

"What is of concern when we dig deeper - we find a sizable number of people admit they struggle to understand the various financial products that are out there," said Sheila Breeding, Allstate New Jersey spokesperson.

When asked about different terms, 43 percent of New Jerseyans said they have trouble understanding annuities. Nearly 30 percent expressed the same lack of understanding about stocks and mutual funds, 15 percent about college savings, 11 percent about retirement savings accounts, and nine percent about life insurance.

"Do your homework," Breeding advised. "There is a tremendous amount of free and valuable information out there."


The poll, conducted nationally and in some individual states, also found that a higher level of education can lead to greater confidence about getting out of debt.

"Fifty-four percent of people with college degrees, versus just 39 percent of respondents with only a high school education, say it's extremely or very realistic that they will become debt-free," Breeding explained.