Community involvement is linked to financial security

February 26, 2018

Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) say community involvement is important to their overall well-being— and nearly half (48%) agree that being involved in communities improves their finances, based on findings of a nationwide poll of 10,000 adults released by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance on February 15.

This new body of research – You Get What You Give: The MassMutual 2018 Financial Wellness and Community Involvement Study – examines the intersection of community participation and financial well-being and strongly demonstrates that community involvement strengthens confidence in financial security.

The poll—conducted on behalf of MassMutal by PSB Research—found that, even during tough times, Americans find a way to support each other. Indeed, today, the researchers say, four in 10 Americans feel anxious about their current and future financial security and think about their financial well-being daily. Yet, indicative of Americans’ community values, more than half (53%) report that they have supported someone in their community in a time of financial stress, and 25% have been supported by others in their community during a time of need.

In line with those findings, Americans clearly choose to make time for others. Nearly all Americans (95%) reported that they are involved in at least one community. Most are involved in a community with their family (86%), group of friends (65%) or neighborhood (50%). Those who place a premium on community involvement have unexpected benefits, with approximately six in 10 being either comfortable or confident in their current and future financial well-being.

Interestingly, Americans do not share the same definition of community. Respondents defined community in multiple ways, based on geography (81%), values (45%), culture (40%) and lifestyle (36%).

Community is also no longer just a physical thing; Americans are connecting with communities both online and in-person.  Most surprising in today’s digital world, regardless of age, Americans interact with their communities in-person, with the exception of political and interest-related communities.

No matter how they define community or participate in it, Americans agree that involvement in a community impacts multiple aspects of their lives. A majority report that community participation improves their social and family lives (88% and 82%, respectively).

“MassMutual began out of a concern for community in 1851, when our founders first started offering coverage to help their neighbors secure their future and protect the ones they love,” said Roger Crandall, MassMutual chairman, president and chief executive officer. “More than a century and a half later, we are still driven by that same purpose, and this study shows it is more relevant than ever. Our research clearly indicates that by Living Mutual—coming together and relying on each other—we can make our communities stronger and our lives more secure and fulfilling.”

Research contact: ptremblay@massmutual.com

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