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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Poor Economy Strains Family Relationships
COUNTRY Survey Reveals Economy Sparking Arguments With Spouses and Children

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The struggling economy is straining more than just the family pocketbook these days, according to a new survey by COUNTRY Financial. Three in four Americans admit the economic downturn is heaping more stress on their family and one-third say it has sparked more arguments with their spouse or children.

However, the economic impact on American households presents a silver lining. More than half (54 percent) say they have been talking to their children more about money matters, and another 53 percent say they are permanently changing the way they spend and save.

"There is no doubt this economy has been a rude awakening for families," says Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning at COUNTRY. "While the current situation is stressful to many Americans, it is encouraging that people are permanently changing their financial habits as a result. Most families can build a financially secure future for themselves, no matter where they are starting from."

Most Americans say they are cutting back on short-term discretionary spending. Sixty-nine percent say they have limited family outings like going to the movies and dining out due to the current economy. However, many families are pulling back on longer-term needs, as 41 percent say they have slowed contributions to their children's education savings accounts or tuition in the past six months.

    Economy's effects on family more apparent among women
    * Eighty-one percent of women compared to just 65 percent of men say the
      topic of money and the current economy has been very or somewhat
      stressful for their family.
    * More women (60 percent) than men (46 percent) say they are talking more
      to their children about money matters.
    * Fifty-seven percent of women compared to 48 percent of men say the
      current economy has permanently changed their financial habits.
    Lower income groups most likely to make changes
    * Seventy-four percent of those in the $20,000-$40,000 income range say
      they are limiting family outings.
    * Sixty-two percent of the $20,000-$40,000 bracket say the economy has
      caused them to permanently change how they handle their money.

For more information on Americans' sentiments about financial security, please visit

The January COUNTRY Family Finances survey is based on a national telephone survey of nearly 1,200 Americans who currently have children at home and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC (, an independent research firm. The margin of sampling error for this survey is approximately +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.


COUNTRY Financial ( serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.


About PR Newswire
Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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