$50 Now or $500 Later? Most Americans Would Wait

Almost 80% of survey respondents indicated they were thinking long term

Americans indicate they are at least interested in saving more, a poll conducted by the financial literacy website TheMint.org found.

Almost 80% of respondents of all ages said they would rather have $500 to spend in five years than $50 to spend today. Among people 17 or younger, 67% would rather have more money in the future than a little money today.

“The results indicate that people want to save and are thinking about the long term when it comes to their finances,” Rebekah Barsch, vice president for Northwestern Mutual, told AdvisorOne. “Of course, putting intentions into action is where advisors play a critical role—working with clients to develop comprehensive plans that are flexible and updated regularly to meet their financial security needs over the arc of their lifetime.”

Respondents were also asked how much they thought they would have in 25 years if they put $500 in savings today. Thirty percent said they would have just a little bit extra, while 62% said they would have twice as much.

Rebekah Barsch, Vice President, Northwestern Mutual“The poll is an anecdotal snapshot,” Barsch (left) acknowledged. “That said, we’re optimistic that people recognize the benefits of managing their money over the longer term and making saving part of the strategy. This is certainly encouraging at a time when people are taking greater responsibility for their personal long-term financial security.”

TheMint.org is a project by Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the charitable arm of Northwestern Mutual, and the National Council on Economic Education. It was launched in 1997 and designed to help parents and teachers talk to children about money and how to develop good financial habits.

While the website is geared toward children, the majority of respondents in the poll reported ages older than 18.

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