Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For May 24, 2015

Value of the annual credit card rewards that Americans leave on the table every year, according to a Cardhub report: $4 billion

Value of the credit card debt in the U.S. in 2014: $57 billion

Difference in rewards value between the best rewards credit card from the best issuer and best rewards card from the worst issuer over the first two years: $739.01

Source: CardHub.

Percentage of non-retirees who name Social Security as a major source of retirement income (the highest percentage in 15 years), according to a survey by Gallup: 36

Percentage who expect to rely on retirement investment accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs: 49

Source: Gallup Organization.

Percentage of American parents who say they are one of their teens' primary driving teachers, according to the National Safety Council: 88

Percentage of parents who use their cellphones while driving when their teens are in the car: 91

Source: National Safety Council.

Number of people who ride a bicycle to work, about 0.06 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 882,198

Number of people who walk to work, about 2.8 percent of the population: 4,000,459

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Number of minutes longer that Americans who say they have very good or excellent health and quality of life sleep versus those who say they only have good, fair or poor quality of life, according to the National Sleep Foundation: 36

Source: National Sleep Foundation.

Percentage of Americans who consider themselves libertarians, according to a survey by Reuters and Ipsos Data: 20

Percentage of those who think the U.S. military should be involved only if the United States faces a direct threat: 61

Percentage who say the government shouldn't be involved in deciding who can and can't marry: 61

Source: Ipsos Data.

Percentage of people who wish they could still take a "spring break" like they did when they were in school, according to a survey by RetailMeNot.com: 74

Percentage of consumers who consider warm-weather vacations to be more desirable than cold-weather vacations: 66

Percentage of vacationers who prefer to take several smaller trips throughout the year than a single big trip once per year: 61

Source: RetailMeNot.com.

Percentage of companies that agree their sales teams' ability to articulate "value messages" is one of the most critical factors in closing deals, according to a survey by Corporate Visions: 85

Percentage of companies that ask their salespeople to perform "stand-and-deliver" or "role-play" to practice their value messages: 41

Source: Corporate Visions Inc.

Percentage of Americans who have asked their car insurance provider for common discounts, according to Bankrate.com: 16

Percentage less the average person should pay for car insurance if they drive less than 5,000 miles annually versus those who drive 15,000 miles, according to Bankrate.com: 8 (25 percent in California)

Although all of the 10 largest car insurers give good student discounts, percentage of millennials who have asked for one of these: 20

Source: Bankrate.com.

Percentage of Americans who say that football is their favorite sport (up from 24 percent in 1985), according to a Harris poll: 32

Percentage who say baseball is their favorite (down from 23 percent in 1985): 16

Rank of men's college football and auto racing: 3, 4

Source: Harris Interactive.

Idle Thought

"All of life is a foreign country." -- Jack Kerouac, author

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre@bwr.eastlink.ca.)