51 Of Americans Are Putting Off Major Life Events for Financial Reasons

10 December, 2017

Have you been putting off making a major decision in your life due to financial concerns? If you answered yes, then you’re not alone. A recent AICPA study found that more than half of the Americans surveyed have delayed making at least one major life decision for financial reasons in the past year. Fifty-one percent of the 1,010 U.S. adults surveyed this March said they had put off important life goals such as buying a home, retiring, or pursuing higher education. In contrast, just 31% of respondents reported delaying such decisions in a similar survey conducted in 2007, before the financial downturn took place. The results show that Americans are being cautious about spending and are taking more time to think and proceed slowly before making a major decision with financial consequences.

Some of the decisions that have been pushed to the back burner include:
• Pursuing higher education: 24% of Americans put it off in 2015 vs. 11% in 2007
• Buying a home: 22% in 2015 vs. 14% in 2007
• Having a medical procedure: 19% in 2015 vs. 9% in 2007
• Retirement: 18% in 2015 vs. 9% in 2007
• Having children: 13% in 2015 vs. 5% in 2007
• Marriage: 12% in 2015 vs. 6% in 2007

Of respondents who said they had delayed a big decision in the past year, 60% named lack of savings as a reason. Other reasons respondents cited include:
• Worries about the U.S. economy (50%)
• Difficulty paying nonmortgage bills (39%)
• Difficulty paying medical bills (29%)
• Taking care of elderly parents or relatives (29%)
• Paying off credit card debt (28%)
• Concerns about losing their job (27%)
• Difficulty making mortgage payments (25%)

The survey did report some encouraging news. More than 4 in 5 Americans (85%) said they made positive changes to their financial habits after the recession. Fifty-eight percent said they had started following a monthly budget, 44% started saving or increased their savings, and 35% started or added to an emergency fund.

Source: Vien, C. (2015). 51% of Americans Are Putting Off Major Life Events For Financial Reasons. Retrieved from http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2015/jun/americans-delaying-major-life-decisions-201512549.html

TAMPA BAY MONEY TIPS are published to provide practical personal financial tips relating to budgeting, saving, spending, debt, credit, financial wellness, planning for the future, and other personal finance topics. Linda A. Stortz, CPA, P.A. is a local CPA firm located in the Tampa Bay, Florida area and is dedicated to educating individuals to take control of their personal finances and financial future. Services provided include confidential personal financial coaching, counseling, mentoring, and also financial education through financial literacy and wellness seminars. Linda A. Stortz is a CPA. Accredited Financial Counselor, and Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist. For more information, please e-mail Linda at Linda@LStortzCPA.com.

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