Americans place significant pressures on themselves to reach life milestones

July 23, 2019

New research from H&R Block explores the mindsets of newlyweds, new parents and first-time homeowners

Nearly 60% of Americans constantly worry about money and almost half (49%) believe that their financial struggles have prevented them from reaching life milestones as soon as they’d hoped. That’s according to new research from H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) that looks at the implications of some of the biggest financial life stages: getting married, starting a family and becoming a homeowner.

Most Americans (73%) say personal fulfillment motivates them to reach traditional life milestones, while 20% cite a fear of falling behind and another 15% say pressure from society serve as motivation to hit these life markers.

“H&R Block has always been a trusted advisor to American taxpayers, with a deep understanding of the implications of life’s major milestones and obstacles,” said Vinoo Vijay, chief marketing officer for H&R Block. “No matter when people find themselves entering these moments, H&R Block is committed to helping consumers navigate the implications to ensure they and their families are set up for a bright financial future, not just at tax time.”

Despite delay, people still may jump in too quickly

While on average Americans are reaching financial milestones later than they’d hoped, some still find themselves less prepared in those moments—mostly attributed to not knowing where to start.

  • Fifty percent of new parents wish they would have felt more financially prepared prior to the arrival of their first child.
  • Thirty-three percent of new homeowners shared that sentiment, with more than a quarter of whom saying they didn’t think about the finances until they purchased their home.
  • Over half (55%) of newlyweds say finances put stress on their marriage, and one in five wish they would’ve talked to their spouse about money before getting married.

The good news: change is good for financial optimism

On the bright side, people who undertake one of these milestones are more optimistic about their financial future than the average — with more than 80% expressing optimism across all three life stages, compared to 71% of Americans. That’s likely because they’ve taken steps toward improving their financial well-being.

  • Controlling the purse strings: More than a third (37% newlyweds, 43% homeowners, 44% new parents) of all respondents established a new budget when reaching a new milestone.
  • Finding a hustle: 46% of new parents found a second job or side hustle.
  • Being more aware of spending habits: 45% of newlyweds have cut back on spending.

For more information on how H&R Block can help people prepare for life’s biggest milestones, contact a local H&R Block tax professional. To find the nearest H&R Block office or choose an H&R Block DIY online product to best meet their tax needs, visit www.hrblock.com or call 800-HRBLOCK.

Full survey results (pdf) are in the H&R Block media library.

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About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 11,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2019, H&R Block had annual revenues of $3.1 billion with over 23 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.

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