How Has The Economy Changed You?

by Tim on October 31, 2011

Will your child be better off than you are?

A recent article in Money Magazine provided some interesting statistics.  A group of people was asked how they felt the economy would impact their lives.  From questions about children to retirement and family life, the results were interesting to read.

53% of Americans aren’t sure their kids will be better off than they are.

How many of you have said or heard this before?  It’s a noble thought to want those you love to have a more successful life than you lived.  But half of those surveyed didn’t feel like their children would have it better than they did.

While there are circumstances that we cannot control (i.e. available jobs and investment performance) we can do some things to make sure the next generation is truly better off than we are.  Here are two ways that I thought of:

  • Instill an attitude of contentment – I really liked the article that Joe wrote over at Christian PF entitled: How to Raise Non-Materialistic Children.  What better way to set them up for success than to prepare them to be content with what they have in life?  I think we can all agree that a lot of the economic trouble we’re in today was caused by greed and discontentment, so encouraging children to be content with the things they have will put them way ahead of the crowd today.
  • Encourage financial education among children – This follows closely to point one.  If you don’t emphasize the importance of a budget and saving when your children are young, they might not catch on until it’s too late.

67% worry their quality of life will suffer in retirement.

Unfortunately, a lot of Americans have held onto a false sense of security when it comes to Social Security.  I think the fear of the unknown has driven many soon-to-be-retirees to the point of worrying.  So how do you combat those worries?  If you can afford it, you can try to max out retirement plans.  You can also take some larger measures and downsize your home.  I know my parents are looking to downsize and it will save them a tremendous amount of money in their retirement years.

80% say they’re eating at home more often.

I definitely fall in this category.  We like to cook at home anyway, but the eating out budget is the first to go when finances get tight.  We still find creative ways to treat ourselves, but we usually end up eating around the table almost every night of the week.

75% say that time with the family is more important than ever.

The wording on this is interesting to me.  It’s not that 75% of people think their families are more important than they were five years ago.  Most would say that their family has always been a priority in their lives.  To me it says that people are realizing which priorities truly matter most.  We’re not guaranteed another day with our family members and we can’t replace them like we can a job or house.  If there is one good thing that has come out of this economic dip, I think we can consider this one a positive thing.

So what about you?  Do you agree with these stats?  Would you fall in the majority or minority for the topics that were mentioned above?

Tim is a personal finance writer at Faith and Finance a Christian financial help blog that provides financial insights for individuals, businesses, and churches. Outside of finance, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, playing the saxophone, reading economics books, and a good game of RISK or Catan. Find him on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to the Faith and Finance RSS feed.



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Traveler Service Provider January 11, 2012 at 12:09 am

Not everyone sees all the changes as lasting. An economist who has studied the recession’s effect on consumers, believes people generally will continue to save more and borrow less, but that they will start spending again once the economy get stronger.


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