In January, American consumer confidence reached an 11-year high. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 98.1, up from 93.6 in December, which is the highest level since January 2004.
Thanks to lower gas prices, more people said they are likely to buy a car than in any other time in the last decade. Folks also indicated they were back in the market for big-ticket household items -- which may well need to be replaced by now -- such as a washing machine or vacuum cleaner.
While the job market remains at an uptick, workers today admit they still feel less secure about retaining their jobs than workers did back in the late 1970s. They fear not just losing their job -- but not being able to find a comparable job if they did. Alas, although the economic recession technically ended more than six years ago, its scars still run deep.[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Consumer Sentiment Brightened in January to 11-Year High,” from Bloomberg, Jan. 30, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Worker’s expectations about losing and replacing their jobs: 35 years of change,” from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2015.]
With those levels of remaining uncertainty, it’s no wonder our economy has moved so slowly to recover. Confidence plays a tremendous role in everything we do. Whether competing in sports or just trying to accomplish goals in daily life, how you feel about your chances for success can help tip the scales one way or another.
For example, a psychology study from Ohio State revealed that a person’s level of self-confidence can influence his career path. Another recent study found that female STEM students (who study science, technology, engineering or math in college) exhibit far less confidence in the classroom than male students, possibly contributing to the comparatively low proportion of women who pursue STEM careers. Really, for all workers, a lack of self-assuredness may lead to less confidence when negotiating a job salary and may ultimately mean a lower lifetime income.[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Study: Self-confidence Plays a Crucial Role in Forging Your Career Path,” from Fast Company, accessed Jan. 30, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Female programmers are less confident than male programmers,” from IT World, Jan. 12, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “5 Reasons Why You Should Negotiate Your Salary, Every Time,” from The Huffington Post, Jan. 21, 2015.]
Perhaps with the improving job market and some salary negotiation training, parents will soon be able to kick their young adult children out of the nest. Recent analysis shows that 11.5 percent of baby boomers live in households with children under age 18, but more than 30 percent live in households with children of any age. This not-so-empty nest phenomenon also holds true for seniors (1 percent vs. 12 percent).
On one hand, young adults may lack the confidence to move out on their own given the high levels of unemployment and economic uncertainty they’ve witnessed since graduating from college. On the other hand, now that they’re settled into an adult routine at home with the luxuries of on-site laundry and every cable channel known to mankind, who wants to move out to prepare meals, spend an hour each week at a laundromat or give up programming on ESPN, TNT or CNN?
However, for older adults that need to get back to the business of saving for retirement, one less on-site mouth to feed can make a difference. And not having to support another adult under your roof can help bolster your confidence to meet retirement income goals. If we can help raise your confidence in your retirement income, please contact us today.[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Children in the Household by Generation, 2014,” from Demo Memo, Jan. 28, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Intended for Millennials, Dish’s Sling TV Is a Cord Cutter’s Dream,” from NPR, Jan. 26, 2015.]
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