Financial worries keep adults from making life decisions

Four in 10 American adults -- 41 percent -- are holding off on major life decisions either because they are financially strapped or worried about the U.S. economy, according to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The decisions include home ownership, higher education, marriage, children, medical procedures, and retirement.

This represents an 11 percentage-point increase from a year ago, when 30 percent of U.S. adults said they were delaying these life decisions for the same reasons.

Of the 41 percent of the 2008 survey respondents who said they are postponing life goals, 28 percent cited a lack of savings as the principal reason, while 18 percent pointed to concerns about the country's economic state. General anxiety over the economy is high, with 54 percent of the entire survey sample expressing a pessimistic outlook over the next year.

"It's alarming that so many more people are choosing not to get married, buy a home or further their education because they don't have the money," said Carl George, chair of the AICPA's National CPA Financial Literacy Commission. "We know people are having a hard time making ends meet, which can affect life goals. It's important that they try to save, even if it's only a small amount each week."

The CPA profession created 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy to educate Americans on how financial issues affect them at all life stages, from childhood to retirement. A related campaign, Feed the Pig, created with the Ad Council, helps 25 to 34 year-olds prepare for long-term financial security.

Methodology

The study was conducted by telephone within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants between March 5 and March 9, 2008 among 1,026 Americans over the age of 18. Results were weighted for education, age by sex, race, household size (number of adults), number of voice/telephone lines in the household, and 8-point region where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. A full methodology is available.

You may like these other stories...

For the first time since 2006, more than 50 percent of CFOs believe the US economy will show signs of improvement over a six-month span rather than remain the same or worsen, according to a new study from Chicago-based...
By Jason Bramwell, Staff Writer CPAs in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania believe economic conditions in the United States will likely be the same one year from now, and while they predict higher business revenues...
By Jason Bramwell Managers in accounting, finance, and IT are cautiously optimistic about their hiring plans for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a new hiring outlook survey from staffing firm Brilliant. ...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 22This webinar will include discussions of important issues in AU-C 800, Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance with Special Purpose Frameworks.
Oct 23Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.
Oct 30Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links.
Nov 5Join CPA thought leader and peer reviewer Rob Cameron and learn ways to improve the outcome of your peer reviews while maximizing the value of your engagement workflow.