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Recession Teaches Americans Lesson in Retirement Planning


September 15, 2009

If there is good news to come out of the current recession, it’s that Americans might have a renewed focus on proper retirement planning, according to a new survey from COUNTRY Financial.

Fifty-one (51) percent of those familiar with their parents’ finances say they are thinking more seriously about their own retirement planning after watching the recession’s impact on their parents. And what they learned likely could be put to good use given 71 percent of people believe they will experience a similar recession by the time they reach their parents’ age.

“The recession is a wake-up call for many Americans and their response is an appropriate one,” says Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning at COUNTRY Financial. “By preparing for and navigating an economic downturn with smart planning, they are more likely to take the actions needed to achieve financial security no matter where they are starting from.”

However, while Americans may have an increased focus on their finances, they are not necessarily upbeat when it comes to their golden years. Six in ten think their financial situation in retirement will be the same (31 percent) or worse (29 percent) as their parents. This sentiment is even more pronounced among those in the 40 to 49 year old age group, with 67 percent saying their financial situation will be the same or worse than their parents.

“The hope for people is a tangible plan,” Brannan says. “Having a plan, and following through with it, is key. Most families can build a financially secure future, even if they might not realize it right now.”


Caring for Parents Weighs on Americans’ Finances

September 15, 2009

Overall, four in ten Americans say it is very (19 percent) or somewhat likely (22 percent) they will have to help their retired parents financially. And, for the so called “Sandwich Generation,” four in ten who have children at home think they will have to provide financial help to their parents. These competing priorities emphasize the need to plan ahead.


Recession has Varying Impact on Men versus Women

September 15, 2009

Women (56 percent) are more likely than men (44 percent) to say they’re thinking more seriously about their finances after watching their parents endure the recession. However, they are more pessimistic about the state of their financial situation once they reach retirement. Thirty-five percent of women say their finances will be worse than their parents’, compared to just 28 percent of men.

The September COUNTRY Parents’ Finances survey is based on a national telephone survey of more than 1,000 Americans with living parents 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.