THE PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL WELL-BEING INDEX. May 2015

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1 THE PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL WELL-BEING INDEX SM May

2 STUDENT LOANS About two in five (39%) employees took out student loans to pay for their college education. Another two in five (41%) say they did not take out student loans to pay for their college education. 41% 19% 21% 18% DOESN'T APPLY TO ME- I DIDN'T GO TO COLLEGE NO YES AND I HAVE PAID THEM OFF YES AND I AM STILL PAYING THEM OFF 2

3 STUDENT LOANS About one third (32%) of employees who took out student loans for college regret doing so, while a similar percentage (34%) say taking out student loans has prevented them from achieving their financial goals. Just over half (52%) do not regret taking out student loans to pay for their college education. About three in five (62%) say they understood how much debt they would graduate with when they took out student loans. I REGRET TAKING OUT STUDENT LOANS 12% 20% 16% 22% 30% Agree Completely Agree Somewhat Neither Agree nor Somewhat TAKING OUT STUDENT LOANS HAS PREVENTED ME FROM ACHIEVING MY FINANCIAL GOALS Completely 12% 22% 21% 17% 27% 3 Agree Completely Agree Somewhat Neither Agree nor 27% 35% Somewhat I UNDERSTOOD HOW MUCH DEBT I WOULD GRADUATE WITH WHEN I TOOK OUT STUDENT LOANS Agree Completely Agree Somewhat Neither Agree nor Completely 15% 13% 10% Somewhat Completely To what extent do you agree with the following statements? Base: 439 employed U.S. adults in firms of 10-1,000 employees that took out student loans for college

4 COMFORT LEVEL WITH DEBT A third of employees (34%) say they are comfortable to some degree with the amount of debt they currently have. Just under half (47%) of employees who use a financial professional are comfortable with the amount of debt they currently have, versus thirty percent of employees who do not use a financial professional. About two in five employees (39%) are either somewhat uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with the amount of debt they have. Only 11% of employees say they do not currently have any debt. Very comfortable 13% 15% Somewhat comfortable 21%* 32% Neither comfortable nor uncomfortable 12% 17%* Somewhat uncomfortable 21% 25%* Very uncomfortable 14% 13% Does not apply - I do not have any debt 7% 11%* Q Q *Varies significantly (95% confidence level) from previous quarter 4 How comfortable are you with the amount of debt you currently have, including your mortgage, credit card debt, car loans, student loans, money owed on medical bills, etc.? Base: 1111 employed U.S. adults in firms of 10-1,000 employees Base sizes for financial professional use: use a financial professional-265, do not use a financial professional-846

5 CHILD(REN) S COLLEGE EDUCATION Of the twenty three percent of employees saving for their child(ren) s college education, over half (55%) are satisfied with their level of saving. About a quarter (26%) are dissatisfied with their level of saving for their child(ren) s education. SATISFACTION WITH SAVING FOR CHILD(REN) S EDUCATION Very Satisfied 17% Satisified Neither Satisfied Nor Dissatisfied 19% Dissatisfied 20% Very Dissatisfied 6% 38% 23% OF EMPLOYEES ARE SAVING FOR THEIR CHILD(REN) S EDUCATION. Are you saving for your child(ren) s future college education? Base: 1111 employed U.S. adults in firms of 10-1,000 employees How satisfied are you with the level you are saving for your child(ren) s education? Base: 258 employed U.S. adults in firms of employee that are saving for their child(ren) s college education 5

6 CHILD(REN) S COLLEGE EDUCATION Among those employees not currently saving for their child(ren) s college education, about half (53%) say they are not financially able to do so. Over a quarter (28%) say their child(ren) will pay for his/her own college education through student loans. I am not financially able to save for my child(ren)'s college education at this time 53% My child(ren) will pay for his/her own college education through student loans 28% I just haven't gotten around to setting up a savings plan 23% I will pay as they go 22% I expect my child(ren) to receive scholarships 19% I do not anticipate my child(ren) will attend college 7% Other 7% Why are you not currently saving for your child(ren) s future education? Base: 275 employed U.S. adults in firms of 10-1,000 employees who are not saving for their child(ren) s education 6

7 SPENDING ON NON-ESSENTIAL ITEMS For about a third of employees (35%) it is not at all difficult for them to spend money when they want on non-essential items such as entertainment, dining out or other leisure/fun activities. Another third or so (34%) indicate it is somewhat difficult for them to pay for non-essential items, while a similar percentage (32%) indicate it is either difficult, very difficult or extremely difficult for them to spend on non-essentials. HOW DIFFICULT IS IT FOR YOU TO SPEND MONEY WHEN YOU WANT ON NON-ESSENTIAL ITEMS? 39% 35% 35% 34%* 35% 33% 31% 32% 28% 27% 19% 20% 20% 21% 19% 9% 10% 10% 11% 8% 6% 4%* 7% 4% 5% Not at all difficult Somewhat difficult Difficult Very difficult Extremely difficult Q Q Q Q Q *Varies significantly (95% confidence level) from previous quarter How difficult is it for you to spend money when you want on non-essential items such as entertainment, dining out, or other leisure/fun activities? Base: 1111 employed U.S. adults in firms of 10-1,000 employees 7

8 Best Piece of Financial Advice Given By Parents Employees were asked about the best piece of financial advice given to them by their parents. Advice regarding saving was most commonly referenced (42% of all mentions) while spending was the second most commonly referenced (16% of all mentions). Within the saving category, general saving advice (ex: save) was most mentioned followed by save for a rainy day and save early/save often. - Within the spending category, don t spend more than you earn/live within your means was the most mentioned piece of advice followed by spend wisely and pay cash. Some employees did not receive any financial advice from their parents (13% of mentions). 42% 16% 13% SAVING SPENDING NONE SAVING TOP 3 MENTIONS Save, General (54% of saving mentions) Save for a rainy day (10% of saving mentions) Save early/save often (8% of saving mentions) SPENDING TOP 3 MENTIONS Don t spend more than you earn/living within your means (60% of spending mentions) Spend wisely (11% of spending mentions) Pay cash- (10% of spending mentions) 8

9 Verbatims on Best Piece of Financial Advice Given By Parents Save for the future and do not buy what you want but what you need. If you can t afford to pay for it in cash, you don t need it. Always put some in savings each week even if it is only a small amount Always live within your means. Don t spend more than you earn Don t spend money you don t have. Don t charge a bunch up on credit cards. Save the money and then spend it. Always save for a rainy day. When I was very young, my father gave me two cents a day pocket money. Of that, one cent went into my moneybox (which eventually ended up in an account at the post office) and I could spend the other cent on candy. I still save for those rainy days! So far, I've never been caught not being able to pay my way. Always shop sales. Don t buy anything at full price. Keep at least 6 months worth of expenses in the bank for an emergency. 9

10 Paying for the Unexpected Just under half of employees (47%) say it would be difficult, very difficult or extremely difficult for them to pay an extra $1,000 in a given month for an unexpected expense, such as a medical bill or car repair. Two out of five employees (41%) say they have enough money put aside that they can tap into at any time in case of a job loss or other unanticipated major expense. How difficult would it be to pay an extra $1,000 in a given month for an unexpected expense? 30%* 29% 30% 28% 26% 26% 23% 23% 20% 18% 17%* 14% 14% 14% 15% 15% 13% 13% 13% 12% 24% 23% 21% 22% 17%* Not at all difficult Somewhat difficult Difficult Very difficult Extremely difficult Q Q Q Q 2014 Q I have enough money put aside that I can tap into at any time in case of a job loss or other unanticipated major expense. 15% 11%* 9% 11% 11% 30%* 32% 26% 27% 28% 18% 19% 16% 18% 17% 19% 16% 17% 17% 14% 27% 27% 29% 23%* 25% Agree completely Agree somewhat Neither agree nor disagree somewhat completely *Varies significantly (95% confidence level) from previous quarter Q Q Q Q Q How difficult would it be for you to pay an extra $1,000 in a given month for an unexpected expense, such as a medical bill or car repair? To what extent do you agree with the following statement? I have enough money put aside that I can tap into at any time in case of a job loss or other unanticipated major expense. Base: 1111 employed U.S. adults in firms of 10-1,000 employees

11 Methodology This Principal Financial Well-Being Index SM : American Workers was conducted online within the United States on the Principal Financial Group s behalf by Harris Poll between February 9 and February 17, 2015 among 1,111 employees. This is one in a series of quarterly studies to identify and track changes in the workplace of small and mid-sized (growing) businesses. The first Principal Financial Well-Being Index SM survey was conducted in the United States in Employees consisted of adults 18+ who work at small and mid-sized (SMB) U.S. businesses (firm size 10-1,000 employees). Results were weighted as needed for age by gender, education, race/ethnicity, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents propensity to be online. All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the entire population of adult employees working for small to mid-sized U.S. businesses. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. 11

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