personal finance

Lessons Learned: Americans Adopt Debt and Spending Control

November 17, 2009

As the recession approaches its two-year anniversary, a new COUNTRY Financial survey reveals 61 percent of Americans were adversely affected by the recession, and many plan to permanently change their debt and spending habits.

One in four (25 percent) say they would like to be less reliant on credit and debt in the future, 21 percent plan to keep a lid on spending on non-essentials, and 18 percent think they will save and invest more. Fifteen percent say they will now develop and stick to a financial plan.

“Americans are incredibly resilient, and it’s encouraging to see people are really trying to change,” says Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning for COUNTRY Financial. “Making permanent, positive changes in how we all handle our money will make a big difference in achieving long-term financial security. Despite the financial set-backs that may have been outside of our control, most families can still build a financially secure future for themselves with proper planning.”

 

Americans predict gradual road to recovery

November 17, 2009

While 48 percent rate the way their family coped with the effects of the economic downturn as excellent or good, more than half (52 percent) of this group believe it will take at least two years for their financial situation to recover.

 

Finding additional income during downturn

November 17, 2009

More than one in four (28 percent) claim they had to find additional sources of income to help pay bills during the recession. In nearly one-third (30 percent) of those cases, the primary wage earner in the family took on a second job, and 14 percent of their spouses went back to work.

“People are working hard to recover and making different types of decisions with their finances,” adds Brannan. “While many think it will take several years to get back on track after the recession, with time and discipline most can achieve their financial security goals.”

The November COUNTRY Recession Anniversary survey is based on a national telephone survey of more than 3,000 Americans and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm. The margin of sampling error for this survey is approximately +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

About COUNTRY Financial

COUNTRY Financial serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.