During a normal year things would look a lot different from how they do for most American families in 2020. Family vacation — cancelled. Summer camp — cancelled. School — cancelled. Spending the holidays with your family — cancelled!
So how does a family get through this time without getting on each other’s nerves and actually pull together in this time of need? This may not be the first thing that people think of, but financial planning could actually be of some help there.
Stresses on the family core can come in many forms, but money, as it turns out, can be one of the largest factors of all. A survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that money causes major stress between partners, and some of the statistics are quite shocking. Money is a significant source of stress for the majority of Americans but even more so for parents. Seventy-seven percent of parents said they were stressed about money. Now add a pandemic and stay-at-home orders to that recipe and oh boy, watch the numbers rise.
Fortunately, when it comes to remote staffing of organizations and companies, America is ahead of the curve globally. This means that many people didn’t lose their jobs and could continue working from home despite unemployment being at record highs. Those numbers probably reflect the large portions of hospitality and service industry workers, entertainment workers, freelancers, etc. who suddenly found themselves unable to work, even from home.
In the U.S., people work remotely full-time 66 percent more frequently than the global average. Working from home could also lead to earning more money. Remote workers earn salaries higher than $100,000 per year, 2.2 times more than workers who do their jobs on-site. Almost three percent of the total U.S. workforce work from home at least half of the time, and we are set to see a “new normal” where those numbers increase dramatically.
So, what does that mean? Well, for one thing, it means that mom and dad are home with the family a lot more, and despite close-quarters, there is something to be said for “being there.” It could be argued that proximity is a stronger catalyst for fondness, than absence, especially when it comes to family.
And what of financial planning? Well, there again is opportunity for bonding. Good financial habits as a family will undoubtedly strengthen the bonds that tie. Some of the most common financial regrets among Americans are not saving for retirement, followed by not saving for emergency expenses, taking on too much debt, and not saving for their children’s education.
Not surprisingly, Americans financial regrets revolve around financial decisions that most affect the family. Taking time to learn and grow as a family by increasing financial education is one way to get everyone on the same page about financial planning and future financial decisions.
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