Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 16, 2019

Percentage of parents who say they are uncomfortable discussing saving for college with their kids -- only slightly less than they are discussing school safety (38%), sex (38%) and drugs (37%), according to a T. Rowe Price survey: 36

Percentage of parents who frequently discuss "planning for long-term goals such as college": 20

Source: T. Rowe Price.

Percentage of vacation homeowners who feel guilty about not using their home as much as they intended, according to a survey by Lending Tree: 49

Percentage who use their vacation home once a year or less: 37

Source: Lending Tree.

Projected back-to-school spending, averaging $519 per student in households buying clothing, supplies, computers and electronics for children in grades K-12, according to Deloitte's annual Back-to-School Survey: $27.8 billion.

Ranks of clothing and accessories, school supplies, electronic gadgets, and computers and hardware on the list of areas where money is expected to be spent: 1, 2, 3, 4

Source: Deloitte.

Percentage of Americans who believe that they need at least $1 million for their "dream retirement," according to a survey of millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers conducted for the American Advisors Group: 25

Percentage of all respondents who said they would likely "retire right away" if they won the lottery: 46

Source: American Advisors Group.

Estimated number of Americans who have never switched banks, collectively leaving up to $42 billion in interest income on the table each year, according to a survey commissioned by 96 million

Of the millions of Americans who have never switched banks, percentage who say the reason is because they're satisfied with their current account: 75

Percentage of respondents who don't know how much interest they're earning on their savings account: 47


Estimated percentage of parents who say they're stressed about back-to-school time, according to a Coinstar survey: 60

Rank of school-related costs on the list of top back-to-school stressors: 1

Percentage of parents who create a back-to-school budget: 66

Percentage who have planned to make school lunches for their kids to save money: 68

Of those parents who shop without their kids, percentage who stay on budget: 69

Source: Coinstar.

Percentage of travelers who plan to take a solo trip within the next two years, according to an Expedia survey: 60

When given an ultimatum to choose between their cellphone or a travel companion to bring on their next trip, percentage of Americans who said they would choose to travel solo with just their device: 33

Percentage of respondents who agree they prefer the freedom of traveling alone and meeting new people over their desire to have a vacation companion: 66

Source: Expedia.

Percentage of parents who say they were not financially prepared to have a child, according to a study by Policygenius: 42

Percentage of married parents who felt financially ready for a child vs. 38% of single parents: 64

Percentage of men who felt financially ready for a child vs. 53% of women: 63

Source: Policygenius.

Percentage of airline credit card holders who estimate the value of the airline rewards they've earned by using their credit card is more than $600, according to a survey conducted by U.S. News: 46

Percentage who say they earned a value of $1,200 or more: 20

Percentage of respondents who redeemed free domestic flights in the last year by using the points or miles accrued with their airline credit card: 32

Source: U.S.News and World Report.

Percentage of consumers who would spend more on back-to-school shopping if offered the ability to use flexible payment solutions, such as interest-free installments or "buy now, pay later" plans, according to a survey commissioned by Splitit: 35

Percentage who said free shipping would encourage them to spend more money during back-to-school season: 37

Percentage who would feel encouraged to spend more by a 10% discount: 29

Source: Splitit.

Idle Thought

"Kindness is always fashionable." -- Amelia Barr, novelist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at