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Members Taking Longer to Reach Decision Points for Major Purchases; Life Events, Survey Finds
Friday, March 22, 2013 5:40 AM

According to a TruStage survey of more than 1,600 credit union members, the planning and buying phases of big-ticket items and major life events now take longer than before.

Following are a few highlights of the survey:

  • Generation Y, the most connected and tech-savvy demographic, actually takes longer to shop for a car than older generations.
  • People date much longer before getting married, thus delaying not only wedding-related purchases but big life events like buying a home or car. In fact, 18–34 year-olds date on average a full year longer than those 55+.
  • College graduates need more time to secure a job, thus delaying many types of major purchases or life events.
  • 18–44 year-olds are underestimating how long it will take to graduate from college despite rapidly increasing tuition costs and growing student loan debt.
  • Retirements are taking longer to reach, necessitating better and earlier planning.

Factors like economic conditions and information overload can help explain the lengthening research and planning times, but for credit unions, the key point is that members’ planning and decision-making processes are changing.

“We usually associate key financial, lending and insurance decisions with big moments in members’ lives,” explains Alan Bergstrom, TruStage senior executive.  “Our data show that the time it takes to arrive to those big moments is changing—sometimes planning takes longer, sometimes consumers do more research than they used to, sometimes economic conditions play a role.”

“For credit unions, this encourages new thinking—not only about new forms of information and communications, but when those touch points occur,” he adds.  “It’s an exciting opportunity to connect and engage with members in ways that are very different from the past.”

TruStage™ is the consumer brand of CUNA Mutual Group.