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I am Proud to Say That I am Living My Parents American Dream #MassMutual #AmericanFamilyStudy

1 Mar

“I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for MassMutual. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

My wife likes saying that our kids have the perfect speech if they ever plan to run for office “My Grandfather was a waiter for 20 years and my Grandmother was a seamstress who made mens suits for 60 cents a piece – they came to the U.S. from Asia to follow the American dream and they achieved it – 3 children with college degrees, their own business and a fully paid-off home.”  You can’t get more apple pie than that.  This is over-simplified, and it was not all happiness and easy times – but all that my family has achieved is the result of what they believed and how hard they worked for it.

What attracted me to MassMutual’s State of the American Family Study is that it studies what I think is at the heart of what most families worry about – finances. We may want to separate the two, but they are invariably intertwined.  I was curious as to the results of the study.  Here are some statistics or results that stood out for me:

  • A lot of things have not changed across all ethnicities – family is still number one, and parents don’t want to be a burden to their children.
  • What really surprised me though is the importance around educating kids about finance – I wonder if that would be in the top five 20 years ago.  That is a priority within my family – teaching the girls the value of things, saving, and how hard work pays off.
  • Interesting factoid about women vs. men when it comes to planning and enforcing savings.  I have to admit in my experience as a Certified Financial Planner by profession this also tends to be true.  I didn’t realize how predominantly true it was.
  • Women are less likely than men to have estimated how much savings they will need (55% vs. 67%) in retirement, but when a plan is developed, they tend to stick with it more than their male counterparts.
  • I work with a number of LGBT families in my job and because they don’t have marriage equality in all states, they have to be more aware and sensitive to their planning needs when it comes to estate planning, financial management, medical directives, etc.  
  • LGBT families are more attuned to issues of elder care, ranking not burdening children with elder care higher than traditional families and are more likely to own long-term care insurance.

At the end of the day what makes a “dream” something worthwhile is how achievable and fulfilling it is.  My parents were able to achieve their American dream and my wishes for my kids are not any less aspirational.  Maybe not so grounded in the basics but more centered around how they are as human beings – being a good member of society means being a good honest person, a hard-working person, and with that comes financial responsibility.  The new “dream” to me is to nurture children into adults who can fulfill their own dreams that will someday knock my socks off! 

  • To learn how MassMutual can help families achieve their American Dream today, please review the MassMutual Family Finances study here: http://bit.ly/M9xloU