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In the US, 43% of consumers prefer to save and invest for tomorrow rather than “enjoy life today,” according to a just-released GfK study.
The survey, conducted online in 22 countries, gathered the responses of over 27,000 consumers ages 15 or older.
Globally, consumers answered in roughly the same proportions as in the US. In all, 38% of those surveyed worldwide disagree (either “somewhat” or “completely”) with the statement, “I want to enjoy life today and will worry about savings and investments later.” Hong Kong, the Czech Republic and Brazil ranked as the top three markets in disagreement with that statement, with scores of 54%, 49% and 45%.
Conversely, 34% of global respondents agreed with the statement, indicating that they prefer to emphasize enjoyment today over savings. The top countries for agreement were Turkey (42%), China (38%) and Sweden (37%).
US results: Higher disagreement than global average
Nearly half of US consumers, 43%, disagree with the statement, “I want to enjoy life today and will worry about savings and investments later.” Specifically, 24% of consumers disagree somewhat. while 19% disagree completely, placing the US as the 4th most cautious country overall. Conversely, 33% of Americans agree with the statement, a figure composed of 13% who agree completely and 20% who agree somewhat.
Men, women hold different views
US men and women hold opposite views regarding the study’s goal. Men showed almost no difference in agreement and disagreement levels, with 40% preferring to enjoy life and 39% focusing on savings and investments. US women showed a much clearer preference, with 48% saying they disagree with the statement preferring to save and invest), while just 27% opted for enjoying life today.
Investment concerns grow with age
Focus on savings and investments grows as respondents age. Surprisingly, consumers in the 15 to 19 years old range registered 42% disagreement with a focus on enjoyment; that level dropped to 34% with the 20 to 29 year old, before increasing with each successive group. Disagreement (rejecting the focus on enjoying today) reaches its highest point (55%) with the 60-plus age group.
About the study
GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 markets. Fieldwork was completed in June 2015 and data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The markets included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.
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