With Americans’ financial security at a five-year high, summer 2021 is shaping up to be a spending season

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As vaccination rates increase across the country to combat the spread of COVID-19, many Americans are anticipating a summer filled with travel and fun.

According to a new COUNTRY Financial survey more than half (62%) of Americans currently feel good or excellent about their financial security, higher than rates measured in 2020 (55%) and even before the pandemic (53% in 2019). This stage, combined with the fatigue accumulated after a year spent mainly at home, pushes two in three Americans (64%) to make big plans for the summer. Nearly half of Americans (48%) plan to take a vacation in the next six months, and one in ten say they plan to go to a show, concert or sporting event.

While the pandemic has set Americans back in many ways, their newfound sense of financial security has sparked optimism for spending this summer in more ways than one.

“If you’ve been able to save enough money over the past year, you should be in a good position to spend responsibly this summer,” said Troy Frerich, Vice President of Investment Services at COUNTRY Financial. “It makes sense that people want to have fun after a tough year. However, it’s still important to watch out for overspending and avoid getting into debt. Stick to a firm budget and only spend what you can afford.”

Americans are planning a spending season
The early days of the pandemic were marked by functional and essential purchases. Two in five Americans said they made a purchase during the pandemic that they otherwise would not have made, such as equipment for a new hobby, kitchen appliances or exercise equipment. With one in three expecting life to return to normal by this summer, spending this season will promote enjoyment, whether it’s a vacation, a home upgrade, or of a return to the stadium.

With the easing of quarantine measures, travelers are taking to the skies and hitting the road to reach their summer destinations. Half of travelers plan to take a road trip this summer (50%), while two in five plan to fly (40%). To celebrate the summer months, a majority of travelers head for the beach or the lake (39%). Other popular destinations include a national park (21%), a major city (20%) and camping (19%).

And while some are looking forward to attending a concert or sporting event, other Americans are continuing to invest in their homes despite the easing of restrictions. The survey found that 1 in 10 people plan to remodel/renovate their home or improve their home by buying new furniture or appliances in the next 6 months.

The pandemic is creating strong financial habits
The pandemic has changed us all in many ways and our financial habits were no different. One in ten Americans have increased their retirement savings, with Millennials and Gen Xers most likely to do so, and one in five Americans (21%) say events in 2020 have prompted them to save more in the event emergency.

“We hope Americans felt better about this process because they saved more,” Frerichs said. “Knowing that those savings were there in case things got worse was certainly reassuring. Americans might go back to their old spending patterns, but hopefully the new savings habits will stay intact.”

Frerichs recommends Americans build an emergency fund of three to six months of income. “Given the job insecurity that has arisen as a result of COVID-19, it is always important to maintain a reserve of emergency funds to tap into in case situations go awry.”

A survey result also concludes that many Americans (66%) have put money aside for savings and investments, a healthy habit to maintain throughout the summer. “Setting aside savings allows Americans to reward themselves without delaying future goals like saving for retirement or paying off debt, while allowing them to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. When embarking on home improvement projects , trips or other activities throughout the summer, it is crucial to budget accordingly and always be financially stable throughout the process,” Frerichs said.

Gen Z is taking control of their finances
The pandemic has severely affected Americans emotionally and mentally. It has also forced many people to take a detailed and realistic look at their personal finances. Notably, the survey finds that Gen Z are stepping up and taking control of their finances, despite reporting some of the pandemic’s biggest financial impacts. Nearly one in three (27%) of Gen Z said they have increased their emergency savings and one in five have increased the amount they invest in the stock market (19%), compared to 12% of Millennials. 13% Gen X and 6% Baby Boomers.

“What we’ve seen from recent trends with app-based trading platforms is that Gen Z are starting to take an interest in their finances and investing and saving for the future,” Frerichs said. “These apps are generating initial interest that we hope will continue to grow, leading to a desire to activate a more strategic long-term financial plan so they can weather many different storms on their journey to the future. retirement, then 30-35 years later.”

Although the challenges posed by the pandemic are not quite over, it is more evident than ever that there is a surge of optimism as summer approaches. A financial representative can help you by identifying the opportunities available to you during and after the pandemic, allowing you to put a plan in place to achieve your short and long-term goals, including well-deserved recreational expenses this summer. .

To learn more, visit countryfinancial.com.

About the COUNTRY Financial Security Index®

Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans’ feelings about their personal financial security. The index also digs deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues affecting their finances.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by Ipsos, an independent research company. The surveys were conducted using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®, a national probabilistic panel designed to be representative of the general population and including responses from approximately 1,330 US adults for national surveys. The margin of sampling error for a survey based on that many interviews is approximately +/- 3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

About COUNTRY Financial®

The COUNTRY Financial® group (www.countryfinancial.com) serves approximately one million homes and businesses across the United States. It offers a wide range of financial products and services ranging from auto, home, business and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.

Visit COUNTRY Financial at Twitter @HelloCountry, on Facebook @COUNTRYFinancial and on instagram @countryfinancial.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the third largest market research company in the world, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionate and inquisitive research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve over 5,000 customers worldwide with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has been listed on Euronext Paris since July 1, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com

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Sarah J. Greer