Study explores Americans’ relationship with money

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 10, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS — Despite the financial uncertainties faced by many Americans, generosity is surprisingly at the forefront of their minds. According to the 2015 Money Mindset Report by Thrivent Financial, 61 percent of Americans said they would rather be called generous than financially successful. In fact, more than 1 in 3 Americans think the purpose of the money they make is to give back – whether during their lifetime or after. While this is positive, the emerging theme from Thrivent’s research report illustrates that although Americans want to be generous, they aren’t preparing financially for the future. They’re lacking in long-term financial strategies, advice and tools, and this generally holds true regardless of income level.

The 2015 Money Mindset Report, conducted in partnership with Wakefield Research, surveyed 1,001 U.S. adults ages 18 and above to learn more about Americans’ relationship with money, including how they make decisions when it comes to their personal finances, giving back to others and the role of faith in their finances.

In addition to highlighting the emphasis Americans place on generosity, the survey showed that many still face difficult challenges and lack confidence when it comes to managing day-to-day finances and long-term financial goals:

  • Only 27 percent of Americans are very confident they are making the right decisions with their money.
  • Many Americans struggle with their finances in the following ways: 32 percent don’t have an emergency fund, 25 percent don’t have a long-term financial strategy and 21 percent don’t have a short-term strategy. In fact, 79 percent don’t have a financial adviser.
  • Most Americans aren’t protecting their finances or preparing for the future. More than half of Americans (53 percent) don’t have life insurance, 62 percent don’t have a retirement fund and 89 percent don’t have disability income insurance.

“The results from the survey show that many people want to be generous, but uncertainty about their finances may be keeping them from taking action to give back to others,” says Boyd Hough, a financial representative with Thrivent Financial. “Taking steps to be wise with money, including creating long- and short-term financial strategies, protecting against potential setbacks and finding small ways to make a difference, can help lead to a life where individuals can be wise with money and live generously.”

To view the full report and analysis by Thrivent Financial, please visit

About Thrivent Financial

Thrivent Financial is a financial services organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. As a membership organization, it offers its more than 2.3 million member-owners a broad range of products, services and guidance from financial representatives nationwide. For more than a century it has helped members make wise money choices that reflect their values while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity where they live, work and worship. For more information, visit You can also find Thrivent on Facebook and Twitter.