BOSTON, March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring is in the air and that has a significant number of Americans planning a new beginning, according to research released today by Liberty Mutual Insurance. The Liberty Mutual Insurance New Beginnings Report, a national survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, found that 42 percent of Americans will make at least one major life change this year. Topping the list of new beginnings are homes and jobs, with 44 percent of Americans planning to move or undertake a home renovation this year and 22 percent in the market for a new job.
Americans say they spend more time researching a home purchase than any other major purchase with 73 percent ranking house hunting research for a new home number-one. This surpasses time spent conducting research in preparation for a new baby, vacation, car, laptop or tablet and 401K or other retirement savings. Almost a third (31 percent) of Americans will take on a home renovation this year with two-thirds getting started this spring. While home improvement projects vary in size and scope, one in five say they'll spend $10,000 or more.
America the DIY Nation
Among the Americans planning a home renovation, seven in ten will do at least some of the work themselves with more than half (55 percent) of these DIY renovators saying they aim to improve their home's value. Millennials lead the DIY charge, with nine in ten planning to do some of their home improvements themselves. By contrast, about three-quarters of Gen X'ers and two-thirds of Boomers say they will take the DIY approach. Aside from saving money, Millennials, more than other generations, say adding a personal touch is a motivation to do-it-yourself.
Money Still Matters
With new changes comes some anxiety as from generation to generation, Americans feel worried about having enough money to go through a new beginning. About three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans worry they may not have enough money to make a change, with an even higher percentage of Millennials – 85 percent as compared with 64 percent of Baby Boomers – expressing financial concerns.
New Resources for New Beginnings
"Embarking on a new beginning is exciting but as our study shows, it can also be overwhelming as about two-thirds of Americans express concern about not having enough information to make a major life change or purchase," said Anthony Storm, executive vice president and Chief Marketing Officer of Liberty Mutual Insurance. "It's essential to be well-prepared to protect your investment of both time and money to ensure you have peace of mind with any new beginning."
To help, Liberty Mutual has assembled a panel of experts, including television personality and DIY handyman Chip Wade.
"Getting started on your new beginning is often the hardest part, and you shouldn't let your fears or lack of resources hold you back," notes Wade. "Whether it's your first apartment or a second vacation home, it's easier than you think to tackle your first DIY project or take better stock of your investment."
Wade offers the following tips:
- Break It Down: Most of us make lists when contemplating making a change in our lives – be it buying a house, moving, looking for a job, planning a vacation or another new beginning. But one mile-long list can cause more stress than it alleviates. Instead, make a series of shorter lists with that fit within your master plan with achievable deadlines, organizing to-dos by week or month, for example. Tackle that new beginning step by step.
- Taking Stock of What's Inside Your Home: According to the report, Americans are largely unaware of how to protect their investments. Fewer than one in five Americans will take steps to adjust their insurance policy after making a major purchase, fewer than one in five Americans (18 percent) have formal documentation of their belongings and a third don't know the value of their possessions. Creating a room-by-room inventory of your personal belongings is easy with tools such as Liberty Mutual's Home Gallery® app. The free app lets you store images and information such as purchase price and date for each item on your phone and can be exported to save on your home computer or another device as a backup record.
- Round Up & Ask about Discounts: Setting a budget is one of the first steps you should take when planning a project. Knowing unexpected issues can always arise, take your original estimate and add on an additional 15-20 percent to give yourself a cushion. It's also important to look for potential savings that could be available on home insurance. This may include discounts related to recent home renovations or installing protective devices such as smoke or burglar alarms.
- Safety First: Whether you're planning to do all, none or some of the work yourself, homeowners and renters alike should start with a home safety audit, making sure the most critical needs, like electrical, plumbing, protective devices, gutters and roofing are up to date.
About the Report
Liberty Mutual Insurance commissioned ORC International to conduct a quantitative methodology to measure anticipated life changes and major purchases among adults across the United States. The report included a survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,936 licensed drivers aged 18+. Overall the findings from the report can be interpreted at a 95 percent confidence interval with an error margin of +/- 2 percent. Error margins for subsets such as by generation will be wider.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
Liberty Mutual Insurance helps people preserve and protect what they earn, build, own and cherish. Keeping this promise means we are there when our policyholders throughout the world need us most.
In business since 1912, and headquartered in Boston, Mass., today Liberty Mutual is a diversified insurer with operations in 30 countries and economies around the world. The company is the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2013 direct premium written as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual also is ranked 76th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2013 revenue. The company employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The fifth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 14,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
SOURCE Liberty Mutual Insurance