The Evolution of the
American Dream and Why it
Matters for Personal Finances
Tom O’Donnell, Chase
What is the
American Dream?
Is it:

2
Is it:
A. To work less and make more
money?

3
Is it:
A. To work less and make more
money?
B. To own a house with a white
picket fence and have a family
with 2.3 childre...
Is it:
A. To work less and make more
money?
B. To own a house with a white
picket fence and have a family
with 2.3 childre...
Is it:
A. To work less and make more
money?
B. To own a house with a white
picket fence and have a family
with 2.3 childre...
Answer: Probably all of the above.

7
“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which
life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone,
with opport...
What is the American
Dream in 2013?
Respondents defined achieving
the American Dream as:

77%

50% 46% 46%
Home
Purchase

Married

Children

College
Education...
Here’s what
didn’t rank on
respondents’
wish lists:

Two Cars

New Business

20%

17%

11
Who can achieve the
American Dream?
Just 20% think that
attaining the American
Dream is only possible
if you’re born wealthy.

13
Why is it worth talking
about the American Dream
in 2013 at FinCon?
Because the outlook
on the American
Dream is changing…

15
When respondents were asked to
compare their economic standing to
their parents’ …
They reported feeling more
prosperous —...
Homeownership
was the number-one
symbol of the Dream
today, representing
freedom, individuality
and success …
But consumer...
More than half feel it’s too expensive to
raise children in this day and age.
How costly?

Three out of 5 believe
that you...
One respondent feels it’s too
expensive to raise his two children and
looks forward to the day when they are
finally off t...
While retiring at 65 remains a
core component of the American
Dream, reaching that goal is a
roadblock for respondents.
Mo...
And while the Dream is still
alive … There are those
stressors.

21
Perhaps because of the
complexity of finances.
“Complexity” refers to the ability to
comfortably and confidently make
fina...
31% said their financial life is
very complex.
Of those who say their
financial health has improved
since the recession, 4...
How can Americans make
sure that their Dream
is still alive and well?
Four ways to help
consumers achieve the
American Dream:

25


Build and maintain literacy.

Source: Chase Blueprint/Aite research

26


Build and maintain literacy.
 Seven of 10 consumers whose
financial life improved used at
least one source of financia...


Understand and manage complexity.

Sources: Chase Blueprint/Aite research,
Chase Blueprint research

28


Understand and manage complexity.
 The goal is feeling comfortable and
confident making your financial
decisions.

 C...


Manage budgeting, spending and
borrowing.

Sources: Chase Pulse of the Consumer research;
“Born to Spend” research
30


Manage budgeting, spending and
borrowing.

 Consumers saved more during
the downturn.
 Now they are feeling more
conf...


Understand progress and
experience success.

Sources: Chase Blueprint analysis and research

32


Understand progress and
experience success.

 People are more likely to commit
to the goals that they set for
themselv...
Four ways to help consumers
achieve the Dream:

 Build and maintain literacy.
 Understand and manage complexity.
Manage ...
THANK YOU
Chase.com/MindfulSpending

35
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    1. 1. The Evolution of the American Dream and Why it Matters for Personal Finances Tom O’Donnell, Chase
    2. 2. What is the American Dream?
    3. 3. Is it: 2
    4. 4. Is it: A. To work less and make more money? 3
    5. 5. Is it: A. To work less and make more money? B. To own a house with a white picket fence and have a family with 2.3 children? 4
    6. 6. Is it: A. To work less and make more money? B. To own a house with a white picket fence and have a family with 2.3 children? C. To retire with your toes in the sand and the sun overhead? 5
    7. 7. Is it: A. To work less and make more money? B. To own a house with a white picket fence and have a family with 2.3 children? C. To retire with your toes in the sand and the sun overhead? 6
    8. 8. Answer: Probably all of the above. 7
    9. 9. “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement…a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be…recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” -James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America 1931
    10. 10. What is the American Dream in 2013?
    11. 11. Respondents defined achieving the American Dream as: 77% 50% 46% 46% Home Purchase Married Children College Education 45% Retirement 10
    12. 12. Here’s what didn’t rank on respondents’ wish lists: Two Cars New Business 20% 17% 11
    13. 13. Who can achieve the American Dream?
    14. 14. Just 20% think that attaining the American Dream is only possible if you’re born wealthy. 13
    15. 15. Why is it worth talking about the American Dream in 2013 at FinCon?
    16. 16. Because the outlook on the American Dream is changing… 15
    17. 17. When respondents were asked to compare their economic standing to their parents’ … They reported feeling more prosperous — but also more financially stressed. 16
    18. 18. Homeownership was the number-one symbol of the Dream today, representing freedom, individuality and success … But consumers are more cautious. 77% 17
    19. 19. More than half feel it’s too expensive to raise children in this day and age. How costly? Three out of 5 believe that you need dual incomes to make ends meet. Two out of 5 have delayed having children because of their financial situations. 18
    20. 20. One respondent feels it’s too expensive to raise his two children and looks forward to the day when they are finally off the family payroll. Child 1 Child 2 I mean, not that said respondent doesn’t unconditionally love his children and all that. 19
    21. 21. While retiring at 65 remains a core component of the American Dream, reaching that goal is a roadblock for respondents. More than a third feel that it’s not possible today to save enough for retirement. 20
    22. 22. And while the Dream is still alive … There are those stressors. 21
    23. 23. Perhaps because of the complexity of finances. “Complexity” refers to the ability to comfortably and confidently make financial decisions. 22
    24. 24. 31% said their financial life is very complex. Of those who say their financial health has improved since the recession, 43% say the complexity of their finances has decreased. 23
    25. 25. How can Americans make sure that their Dream is still alive and well?
    26. 26. Four ways to help consumers achieve the American Dream: 25
    27. 27.  Build and maintain literacy. Source: Chase Blueprint/Aite research 26
    28. 28.  Build and maintain literacy.  Seven of 10 consumers whose financial life improved used at least one source of financial help.  Start with the products you already have because… Source: Chase Blueprint/Aite research 27
    29. 29.  Understand and manage complexity. Sources: Chase Blueprint/Aite research, Chase Blueprint research 28
    30. 30.  Understand and manage complexity.  The goal is feeling comfortable and confident making your financial decisions.  Consumers want: – Control – Simplicity – Predictability Sources: Chase Blueprint/Aite research, Chase Blueprint research 29
    31. 31.  Manage budgeting, spending and borrowing. Sources: Chase Pulse of the Consumer research; “Born to Spend” research 30
    32. 32.  Manage budgeting, spending and borrowing.  Consumers saved more during the downturn.  Now they are feeling more confident, so… can good efforts become habits? Sources: Chase Pulse of the Consumer research; “Born to Spend” research 31
    33. 33.  Understand progress and experience success. Sources: Chase Blueprint analysis and research 32
    34. 34.  Understand progress and experience success.  People are more likely to commit to the goals that they set for themselves.  Once you taste success… Sources: Chase Blueprint analysis and research 33
    35. 35. Four ways to help consumers achieve the Dream:  Build and maintain literacy.  Understand and manage complexity. Manage budgeting, spending and  borrowing.  Understand progress and experience success. 34
    36. 36. THANK YOU Chase.com/MindfulSpending 35
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