Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Millennials are Going to the Dogs

We've all heard the saying, "A dog is man's best friend." Most, if not all, baby boomer dog owners will tell you their beloved animal is a part of their family.  Their pets are so loved that upwards of $60 billion was spent on them in 2016, according to American Pet Products Association.

It's easy to associate baby boomers with dogs for a number of reasons:  

  • They believe pets are a good source of affection
  • Interacting with a pet can help them relax
  • Owning a pet can be beneficial to their own health
  • They help ease the pain of divorce or the loss of a loved one
  • There is a feeling of unconditional love from their pet
  • They don't come across as disrespectful or unappreciative like their Millennial children might be
But according to a new survey, it appears Millennials are going to the dogs even more so than baby boomers. According to statistics released by Just Right by Purina, 56 percent of those surveyed say they have purchased birthday cakes for their dogs, and 77 percent said they feed their dogs before they feed themselves. The survey also found dogs have helped 15 percent of Millennial men gain the attention of the opposite sex, while half of all women surveyed said they preferred time with their dog over time with their partner and/or other family members.

And on a side note here, there also appears to be some differences between the way baby boomers and millennials treat their dogs.  One glaring difference, according to the blog:  "Millennials are all about safety (combined with style) for their pups.  It's rare to see a millennial dog lover whose back seat isn't equipped with a fancy dog booster seat and safety restraints.  (Meanwhile) baby boomers are completely unphased going for a ride with their pup free to roam the front seat and able to stick his neck out the window for a good breeze."

I've seen that.  Have you?  Or perhaps you are in the guilty party?

Another one is how Millennials will create Instagram accounts for their adorable doggies, while baby boomer dog owners are still trying to figure out how Instagram works.

Not only is there a changing of the guard in the workplace with Millennials, but they also appear to be changing the rules of pet ownership. 

About the Survey
Research Now SSI conducted an online survey on behalf of Just Right by Purina among adults ages 18+ who are dog owners and have some responsibility over the well-being of their pet. A total of 1,010 responses were collected between March 26 and March 29, 2018. The online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What's Your Death Wish

Death, as we all know, is inevitable and the older we get the closer it comes.  The question is:  How prepared are you when you've taken your last breath?

As I pointed out in a previous blog post, the majority of us will die without a Will in place.  According to Gallup News, "Americans' likelihood of having a will depends largely on their age and socioeconomic status. Sixty-eight percent of those aged 65 and older have a will, compared with just 14% of those younger than age 30. Of Americans whose annual household income is $75,000 or greater, 55% have a will, compared with 31% of those with incomes of less than $30,000. And nonwhite adults (28%) are about half as likely as white adults (51%) to have a will."

Yes, death is an uncomfortable subject but if you want to make sure your affairs are taken care of properly, it is a conversation you must have with family and/or friends (if you have no living relatives or any you want involved in handling your estate).

Here are some suggestions to consider:

Designate someone to be in charge of handling your insurance policies, annuities, bank accounts, etc.  It could be a lawyer or loved one.  Make sure all of your account information can be accessed and you have designated beneficiaries.  If you've been contemplating making changes to your beneficiaries, make sure you do so while you still have the capacity to do so.

If you become critically (or terminally) ill and can no longer take care of yourself, do you want to remain in your home with the help of a caregiver or do you want to be moved to Hospice or a nursing home?

Do you want to be cremated or buried?  That's important to know because there is a major expense difference between the two.  Do you already have a plot picked out or is there a family plot or will one have to be purchased?

If you choose burial, be clear on the cemetery of choice.  Maybe you want to go back to your hometown.  If you opt for cremation, what do you want done with your ashes?    

When my daughter's father passed away last year, she was his only living relative other than his brother (who couldn't be located for several days).  He left no Will so, since she was responsible for the expenses with the funeral home, she chose cremation because it was cheaper.

Do you want a church service with a public viewing of your remains or do you want a private memorial for just family and close friends. Do you want your funeral to have a theme?  Perhaps, you'd like everyone to come dressed in 1970's attire.  (If you're cremated you can have a memorial at any time of the year).  Perhaps you don't want anything at all.  If that's the case, make it known so you can spare your family from conflict---because believe me, there will be conflict when an older loved one dies, especially if there's money and other valuables involved.

If there's someone else not mentioned here that you'd like to share as a suggestion for your death wish, please feel free to do so,