What is the sign of a good decision?®
It’s considering what’s best for your family when making financial decisions.
Although the American family has always been affected by economic shifts, the recent downturn has compelled many to reconsider their roles and relationships, to reevaluate their priorities and, in many cases, to simplify their active lives.
Families, finances and feelings
A recent study commissioned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and conducted by Forbes Consulting Group in 2009 titled, State of the American Family: Families, Financial Attitudes & Planning, focuses on families and finance.
The vast majority of family decision makers feel strongly about the well-being of their families and make many sacrifices to better the lives of their loved ones. They make conscious choices about things they consider important in their lives – their kids’ education, family and friends, and how they spend time and money. Yet, families are uncomfortably aware that future financial goals often take a back seat to the conveniences and necessities of daily lives. A slumping economy has made them question what they can do to maintain lifestyle priorities while improving long-term financial security.
A majority of families agree that raising their children is the most important thing in their lives and are willing to sacrifice job advancement to care for their children. They also consider what’s best for their families when making financial decisions.
Many parents want to help their children avoid the mistakes they made and have already begun seeking ways to educate their children about personal finance.
It’s never too early to start saving for college
Family decision makers endorse preparing early for the cost of their children’s college education and for teaching their children about personal finance. They are more likely to pay for college than to expect their children to foot the bill themselves.
The vast majority of parents believe it is never too early to begin saving for a child’s education, but when faced with competing financial demands, good intentions and reality often part ways. Half have started to save for college, and many agree that saving for their children’s education should be a higher priority. Unfortunately, there are still others who know they should be saving for their children’s college education but don’t have the money to start.
Responsible but not ready for retirement
Americans are caught between providing financial support for their children and saving enough money for their own retirement. Perhaps due to declining availability and access to pension plans, most people believe that saving for retirement is now an individual’s responsibility.
However, despite widespread acceptance of individual responsibility for retirement planning, “planning avoiders” say they have too many immediate financial concerns to save for retirement. Of those that are actively trying to save, very few feel confident that they are on the right course.
Do you sometimes feel caught between providing financial support for your children and saving enough money for your own retirement? Are you concerned that you aren’t doing the right things to prepare for your family’s future? Get help – contact your credit union or a trusted local financial professional to help you assess and address your family’s needs.
© 2012 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA 01111-0001
Jimmy Grigsby is an agent of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) with Allegiant Wealth Management, 10000 N Central Expressway, Suite 1200, Dallas, TX 75231.
He is a registered principal of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services LLC, Member SIPC, 10000 N Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75231 Phone# 972 348 6343.