4 Financial Trends for 2015

Tired of renting? Uncertain about retirement? You’re not alone. Here’s a look at four major financial issues facing Americans.

Here are four of the trends and expectations that could affect you — and your wallet — in the new year.

Housing

With rents rising faster than most Americans’ paychecks, many consumers are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to housing. With rent costs so high — and mortgage rates low — more millennials who have postponed homeownership in favor of renting will be buying homes in 2015, according to Zillow.

Others will be putting their pride aside and getting roommates to share the costs. This trend has been escalating for several years. Zillow analysis shows that the percentage of Americans living with someone other than a spouse or partner hit 32 percent in 2012 — up from 26 percent in 2000. It will continue to gain momentum in 2015, particularly since rents are projected to continue to grow around 3 percent this year.

Work

A recent study by Freelancers Union and Elance-odesk shows that 53 million Americans are currently working as freelancers. That’s a whopping 34 percent of the workforce.

While for some workers this arrangement is a choice, companies are ultimately driving the trend. After all, temp workers and consultants are often cheaper because companies don’t have to pay them benefits.

Investing

Experts are predicting another good year for stocks in 2015. While it is expected to be a bumpier, more volatile ride than last year, there will be plenty of opportunities if you know where to look.

For example, some of the biggest beneficiaries of lower oil prices could be low-end retailers, which specialize in staples. A strengthening greenback favors companies that derive the bulk of their sales here at home.

Retirement

Americans are still putting retirement on the back burner, delaying it for as long as possible. In 1991, 11 percent of workers expected to retire after age 65. In 2013, 36 percent expected to wait until after age 65, and 7 percent said they didn’t plan to retire at all.

The bottom line: retiring at age 65 is passé. While this personal decision to delay a long-awaited period of relaxation may involve many different factors, for many Americans, it boils down to needing the money — especially since everyday costs are rising and we’re living longer.

This article was originally published by Vera Gibbons on Zillow Blog.

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