The End of the Material World?

In the 1980s, Madonna sang about being a material girl living in a material world.

Following the economic slump of the 1970s, the ’80s came to be known as “The Decade of Excess,” featuring a sustained period of low unemployment and strong economic growth. It was an era of big hair, big shoulder pads and big spenders.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Back to the Future: U.S. Economy In 1985 versus 2015,” from ValueWalk, Jan. 8, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The US economy isn’t having a ’90s flashback, it’s having an ’80s flashback … and it’s totally rad,” from Quartz, Jan. 6, 2015.]

But recently, there’s been a shift toward more conservative spending — not surprising after the multi-year recession followed by slow economic recovery. Every generation has its reasons for increased frugality.

  • Seniors living longer and wary of outliving their savings.
  • Baby boomers wondering if they’ve saved enough for their own retirement.
  • Increased college tuition and health care spending preventing Generation X from enjoying the traditional growth pattern of “trading up” in houses and lifestyle.
  • Millennials saddled with student debt and a long period of high unemployment.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Why millennials and the Depression-era generation are more similar than you think,” from Fortune, April 29, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Challenges of the Aging Industry,” from the American Society on Aging, Aug. 13, 2015.]

As your financial professional, we’re here to help you address concerns like these so you don’t have to wonder where you stand financially now and in the future.

Regardless of your position, everyone’s always looking to save a penny or two. But doing so doesn’t mean you have to hole up in your house and cancel your upcoming trips. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

The past 10 years have spawned an abundance of studies revealing that it’s experiences, not possessions, that bring enduring happiness. In fact, the anticipation of buying something appears to be more satisfying than the actual ownership, and experiential purchases like trips, concerts and movies tend to be more gratifying than material purchases.

That’s not to say people necessarily are spending less money, simply that a shift in what they buy — experiences versus material goods — can lead to greater fulfillment.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Buy Experiences, Not Things,” from The Atlantic, Oct. 7, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Stores Suffer From a Shift of Behavior in Buyers,” from The New York Times, Aug. 13, 2015.]

In July 2015, data released by the Commerce Department demonstrated that Americans are indeed spending more money on things that at least enhance their daily life experiences. This included dining out more, renovating their homes and spending money on sports equipment and beauty aids.

These consumer items may not take up space in our homes, but they do serve to enhance the way we feel about ourselves. And that’s no small thing.

The same can be said for saving more for your retirement. The money you put away isn’t tangible — it won’t be sitting on your mantel or parked in your driveway. But it can definitely make you feel better about the investment you’re making in your future, and provide a sense of confidence that no manner of clothes or electronics can replicate.

We’re here to help you create that sense of well-being and confidence. Call us for a guiding hand.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

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