Fewer Americans are being forced to delay going to college, getting married, or having kids because of financial concerns, according to a survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
- The percent of Americans putting off marriage for financial reasons has been nearly cut in half, dropping to 6 percent from 12 percent in 2015.
- The share of Americans delaying have children has dropped to 7 percent, compared to 13 percent in 2015.
- Just 13 percent of Americans say they put off pursuing higher education, compared to 24 percent in 2015.
- In 2018, only 14 percent delayed buying a home for financial reasons, compared to 22 percent in 2015.
- Only 12 percent of Americans are delaying getting a medical procedure, up from 19 percent in 2015.
- Fewer Americans are delaying retiring for financial reasons. Ten percent delayed in 2018, compared to 18 percent in 2015.
Although far fewer Americans are delaying major life decisions for financial reasons, for those who are the biggest concern remains a lack of savings. Sixty percent said this was the cause for their delay, which is consistent with the results in 2015.
Concern about the U.S. economy is now a much smaller factor in delaying these big life decisions. Just 38 percent of those who delayed cited the economy, down from 50 percent in 2015.
Obamacare has not eased the concerns of many Americans about the cost of healthcare. Medical bills came in as the third highest reason for delaying major life decisions and the only one to get worse, up to 34 percent in 2018 from 29 percent in 2015.
The results on marriage, college, and home buying indicate that we’ve returned something close to the pre-financial crisis, pre-Obama administration economic environment. Back in 2007, 11 percent delayed higher education, 14 percent delayed buying a home, and five percent delayed having children for financial reasons, according to the earlier AICPA survey.