A faucet doesn’t have to be leaking to keep us up at night. Considering how costly home repairs can be, it’s a wonder that we ever stop worrying about household emergencies. How prepared are we for a broken water heater or an air conditioner on the fritz? To help understand how consumers around the world save and invest for household emergencies, Nielsen conducted a global study that polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents in 60 countries about current and future financial goals and the strategies we use to prepare for them.
It turns out that, worldwide, people expect to save for unexpected household emergencies. It was the single financial goal (of 14 reviewed) that reported the highest percentage of active savers in North America, Latin America and Europe, and the second highest percentage in Asia-Pacific and Middle East/Africa. Nearly half of Asia-Pacific respondents (47%) said they actively saved/invested to fund this financial goal, followed by Middle East/Africa (40%), North America (39%), Latin America (38%) and Europe (32%).
Whether dollars, euros or yen, it’s always helpful to have cash on hand when emergencies pop up. The common thread across all regions was the use of local currency as the primary investment strategy to save for household emergencies: Europe (65%), North America (61%), Asia-Pacific (56%), Latin America (49%) and Middle East/Africa (47%). Aside from cash, other methods to save varied. Asia-Pacific respondents were most likely to utilize whole life insurance (27%), saving plans (24%) and pure-term life insurance (20%). Meanwhile, Latin Americans most commonly relied on whole life insurance (27%), pure-term life insurance (20%) and government-initiated products (20%). And one-fifth of both Europeans and North Americans counted on saving plans.
The report also contains insight into saving/investing strategies used to fund other financial goals, including:
Other findings include:
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Saving/Investing report.
The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access across 60 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.