RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lincoln Financial Group today announced results from its 2015 American Consumer Study. With emphasis on generations, the study explored consumer views on money, financial security, and insurance and retirement products.
According to the 2015 American Consumer Study, the majority of Americans polled fall into one of two categories when it comes to their relationships with money. The first category is “in control and confident.” When asked to describe their relationships with money, 36 percent of participants responded with statements such as, “I love it,” or “I control it.”
The second category is “not in control; money is a necessity.” When asked about their relationships with money, 40 percent of all respondents shared a range of comments, from “I’m struggling with it,” to “It’s a means to an end.” Some even said, “I hate it.”
The remaining survey participants either did not answer the question, or responded with “I don’t know,” or another reply that did not fall within these primary categories.
When looking at the results along generational lines, it becomes clear that there are a range of different attitudes and behaviors.
For example, millennials (born between 1982 and 2000) are more likely than other groups to land in the first category (40% in control, 38% not in control) and are most likely to say they “love” the relationship they have with money. They’re also inclined to identify themselves as savers.
Gen-Xers (born between 1965 and 1981) are more likely to lean toward the second category (33% in control, 44% not in control). They’re also apt to describe money as “easy come, easy go.”
Baby boomers (1946 to 1964) also more often fall into the second category (34.5% in control, 38% not in control).
While relationships with money differ generationally, consumers across all three cohorts agree that “financial stability” means meeting present needs and saving for the future. One in three Americans take this a step further, saying “raising future standard of living” is also an important component of feeling financially secure.
The study also found that consumers are looking for help in meeting their financial goals. Many Americans in the workforce — millennials, gen-Xers and younger baby boomers — say they seek advice on insurance and retirement products to make smarter investment decisions and to better understand their options.
To get information on these products, millennials first turn to friends, coworkers, and family (37%); second, they look to their employer (25%). Gen-Xers seek information from those same channels, also citing company websites as a source. Baby boomers are more likely to use a financial advisor.
“Across generations, Americans are looking for financial stability, and they want more information on how to get there,” said Mark Konen, president of Insurance and Retirement Solutions at Lincoln Financial Group. “This is where an employer can add value — simply offering benefits is not enough. Consumers need education on how to use retirement solutions to grow their income, and how to use nonmedical benefit options — such as disability coverage and life insurance — to protect that income.”
The study found that consumers, regardless of age, minimize the importance of insurance and retirement products because they don’t connect them to an immediate need.
“Less than half of the consumers we surveyed feel it’s important to make room in their budgets today for insurance and retirement products,” said Kristen Phillips, senior vice president of Insurance and Retirement Solutions Marketing and Strategy at Lincoln. “Given one in three Americans say they allocate less than they should to meet their personal savings and retirement needs, there isn’t much room for error without the security those products can provide.
“That’s why education is so important,” Phillips continued. “If employers proactively communicate year-round and provide information in a variety of ways, such as webinars, intranet articles, and in-person meetings, they can help employees understand the benefits of insurance and retirement products, and furthermore, the inherent risks of not having them.”
For a snapshot of the 2015 American Consumer Study results, please reference the PDF via this link.
About the American Consumer Study
Results of the American Consumer Study are based on an online survey of 2,515 adults 18 years of age or older across the United States, conducted in 2015 by Lincoln Financial Group and Penn Schoen Berland. The sample was weighted to reflect the proportion of adults 18 or older by a variety of measures. The margin of error is +/- 2% at the 95% confidence level.
The American Consumer study is one in a series of proprietary consumer-research pieces done by Lincoln Financial, including its annual M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America Study. For information on the M.O.O.D. of America 2015 results, visit http://newsroom.lfg.com.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower Americans to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $214 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2015. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. To sign up for email alerts, please visit our Newsroom at http://newsroom.lfg.com.
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