If you’ve been cooped up, masked and socially distanced for the last year, what’s the first thing you want to do to celebrate post-pandemic freedom? Plan a dinner party? Go on a trip? Hug your grandchild? Do your plans involve spending money – like buying a new car or remodeling your kitchen?
A survey conducted by Groupon in the early days of the pandemic found that people were eager to support community businesses. Two-thirds said that even after the pandemic ended, they were planning to spend $100 a week buying local to help the recovery.¹ Is that something you’re planning now, even in the wake of so many new opportunities to shop online?
For many, the simple pleasure of browsing in a store for nothing in particular is an activity they previously took for granted. Given how long many people have resisted going into stores, there is value in simply thinking about where you’d like to go and what you’d like to buy. Experts say there are positive benefits to the simple act of anticipating – whether it’s buying a new pair of shoes or daydreaming about visiting another country. In fact, those uplifting feelings arise by simply buying tickets to a concert or booking a flight for a vacation.²
Similar feelings of anticipation come with retirement planning. Thinking about what you want your retirement to look like and how you’ll spend your days can be both uplifting and motivating.
Despite the challenges we’ve faced throughout the past year, some folks developed good habits they may want to continue even after things return to normal. For example, reading more books, watching more movies, doing daily workouts, walking and riding bikes with family members.
In fact, here are some interesting pandemic statistics that would be great to continue:3
- From breakfast through lunch, we are more likely to eat with others
- Lunch is a bigger deal, generally involving more cooking and less microwaving
- We are cooking at home more and trying out new recipes
- Increased eating at home has led to eating more healthily
Another new trend in the travel industry is staying longer at destinations. This has occurred for a couple of reasons. First, while many people have been empowered to work from home, many have decided not to stay at home. Instead, they have traveled to different places where they can blend work with a vacation in places they’ve always wanted to visit. Second, some states and countries require new visitors to quarantine for up to two weeks before they can move about freely in public. Obviously, this means staying in that new locale longer than they may have otherwise. As a result, the CEO of Airbnb reports that monthly rentals have become one of the fastest-growing sectors of its business.4
Even fashion purchases seem to be changing due to the pandemic. Retailers say customers have moved away from trendy items and are buying more classic, timeless apparel. They’ve also shown greater interest in brands that tout inclusive and sustainable products in development, manufacturing and/or by contributing a portion of sales to charitable organizations.5
However, some people aren’t seeking to consume more goods and services once the pandemic is over. In fact, their bucket list has taken a more personal turn. The following are some of the things Americans are looking forward to the most, according to a recent survey by The New York Times:7
- Sitting in a classroom full of students for the chatter, jokes, laughter and even the background noise]The impromptu camaraderie and guidance of life in the office
- Shaking hands
- Going on a date
- Hugging an elderly family member or someone in a healthcare field who has remained in quarantine when not at work
- Game night; having friends over for pizza; watching a ballgame together
- Engaging with people not in their immediate family or social circle
1 Groupon. May 20, 2020. “Groupon Survey: Consumers Optimistic About Post-COVID Recovery.” https://www.groupon.com/merchant/working-with-groupon/groupon-in-the-news/states-reopening-post-covid-optimism-survey-groupon. Accessed March 8, 2021.
2 Kat Lonsdorf. NPR. Feb. 20, 2021. “A Bicycle. A Trip. Or Just Pants: The Things We Buy When Pining For Normal Times.” https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/02/20/968671326/a-bicycle-a-trip-or-just-pants-the-things-we-buy-when-pining-for-normal-times. Accessed March 8, 2021.
3 Pat Melgares. Drovers. Aug. 12, 2020. “How COVID-19 Changed America’s Eating Habits.” https://www.drovers.com/news/how-covid-19-changed-americas-eating-habits. Accessed March 8, 2021.
4 Marketplace. March 8, 2021. “Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky says post-pandemic, cities might actually want the company around.” https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace-tech/airbnb-ceo-brian-chesky-says-post-pandemic-cities-might-actually-want-the-company-around/. Accessed March 8, 2021.
5 Amy de Klerk. Harper’s Bazaar. Feb. 10, 2021. “Are trends no longer in fashion?” https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/a35436082/how-relevant-are-fashion-trends/. Accessed March 8, 2021.
6 Sara Aridi. The New York Times. Jan. 2, 2021. “What’s the First Thing You Will Do When the Pandemic Ends?” https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/02/at-home/post-pandemic-firsts.html. Accessed March 8, 2021.
We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice.