More Than Half of Americans Delaying Life Decisions

Photo (cc) by danielmoyle

The economy might be on the mend, but finances have caused more than half of Americans to delay at least one major life decision in the past year.

The 51 percent who said they had delayed at least one big decision in 2014 was up from 31 percent in 2007, prior to the Great Recession, according to a survey from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

The survey, released this week, was conducted by Harris Poll in March.

The types of life decisions postponed in 2015 by the 1,010 survey respondents include:

  • Higher education (24 percent delaying decision)
  • Buying a home (22 percent)
  • Medical procedure (19 percent)
  • Retirement (18 percent)
  • Having children (13 percent)
  • Marriage (12 percent)

The chairman of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, Ernie Almonte, said people are delaying these decisions after learning tough lessons during the recession. He told MarketWatch:

“When you peel the onion back, you start to see that what they have experienced — their parents, friends losing their homes or jobs or people in so much debt they file for bankruptcy — stuck with them. They have learned from those lessons … people are looking at things now and saying, ‘I don’t have enough savings for that’ or ‘I will put it off for a year or two until I’m financially stable.’ “

Sixty percent of respondents cited a lack of savings as the chief reason they were delaying major life decisions.

Other reasons for delaying major life decisions included concerns over the health of the U.S. economy (50 percent) and difficulty paying non-mortgage monthly bills (39 percent).

The survey also contained some good news, with 85 percent of respondents saying they had improved their financial behavior since the recession.

Such behaviors include following a monthly budget, increasing savings and creating an emergency fund.

Are you trying to improve your financial behavior? Let us know about your efforts in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Also, check out the Solutions Center for help with everything from paying off credit card debt to tracking your spending.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2020
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2020

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

How to Buy a Refrigerator, Step by Step
How to Buy a Refrigerator, Step by Step

Here’s how I got the perfect appliance at the perfect price.

Never Buy These 12 Things at a Thrift Store
Never Buy These 12 Things at a Thrift Store

Sometimes a great deal is not worth it — or, even worse, is dangerous.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

20 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money
20 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money

From your closet to the beach, the trash you find may be someone else’s treasure.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach
10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach

Does the pandemic have you reaching for bleach more than ever before? Learn the ins and outs of using this powerful disinfectant.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.