New York Life report: few Americans willing to forgo quality time for a pay raise

Photo credit: Stuart Miles Photo credit: Stuart Miles

Though seven in 10 Americans say they would be happier with more money, few are willing to trade off time with family and loved ones, even in exchange for a 50 percent  pay raise.

These are among the key findings of the new Keep Good Going Report from New York Life Insurance Company.  The study of more than 2,000 Americans explores how people rate themselves in four key areas of their lives: family, personal life, work and community.

More than 9 in 10 Americans state that living a good life would be easier if they didn’t have to worry about bills. Similarly large majorities of those polled say life would be easier if they were able to be financially self-sufficient in retirement (89 percent), and could protect their family financially against life’s uncertainties (89 percent).

Perhaps because of their unwillingness to trade time with family, respondents indicate they are doing better in terms of having a loving relationship with their children than in other areas of family life—the equivalent of a “B+”.  

Other “report card” grades range from the equivalent of a B+ in areas such as having integrity, being considerate of others, and being polite and kind, down to Ds (and one F) in areas like achieving financial success, being politically active, and participating in community events.

 “The survey was designed to get an understanding of what Americans value today and to see if their actions reflect these values,” says Brian Perlman, a partner at Mathew Greenwald & Associates. “The results show that, for the most part, Americans are acting on their values. 

“Americans find family and personal relationships as key to living a good life, and they are doing things in their day to day lives to reinforce this,” he adds.

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