Should American parents save for their retirement or their kids’ education?

As American parents get older, they’re eventually faced with the tough decision of whether they should help themselves or help their kids. The feelings are different among certain demographics.tw_retirement

It’s a close split between 51% of Americans who’re saving for their retirement as opposed to 49% of Americans who’re saving for their kids’ education.

Parents under the age of 35 (60%) are more inclined to save for their kids’ education as opposed to reserving that money for their retirement, which accounts for 40% of Americans. Millennials (ages 18-34) are the most likely out of all the demographics to pay for their kids’ college rather than their own retirement.

Income levels are integral in the breakdown of how Americans choose to invest and save their money. Households whose annual income is less than $50,000 tend to save more for their kids’ education (57%) while 43% of Americans are saving for their own retirement. Americans who make more than $50,000 a year save more for their retirement (55%) while 45% of Americans chose to save for their kids’ education.

As the cost of college continues to increase in the United States, parents are now expected to help their children get out from crippling student loan debt. However, the average amount of savings for each American has decreased significantly since the economic crash of 2008. Parents are now being advised to make their retirement funding a top priority.

It’s getting increasingly difficult for parents to help their children in this economy. Due to the lack of grants and scholarships that are being offered, kids coming out of high school are given zero financial aid.

To learn more, see this research article here!

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i-Say promotes Heart Healthy Awareness Month through its eGifts cards!

i-Say decided to promote Heart Healthy Month to bring awareness to its members. We wanted to get involved in another worthy cause and what a better way to show support than preventing heart disease.Heart association fb

February is National Heart Month which really means Heart Disease Awareness! Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The month of February is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and increasing knowledge about prevention. Educate yourself on the dangers of heart disease and get on track to better heart health.

Many organizations such as the American Heart Association, Women’s Heart Organization, and the CDC have joined in to spread the word, offer advice, and provide educational materials regarding smart strategies for preventing heart disease. They all strive to encourage people to live heart healthy lives!

Join us in wearing red on Friday, February 5th in support of Go Red for Women, an organization that promotes living healthy all year along.

Publications have also joined the conversation like The Huffington Post and Healthline.com. Just google Heart Healthy for a list of sites and preventative ideas.

Help us celebrate Heart Healthy Awareness Month this February to make a difference in preventing heart disease. i-Say gift cards provide a great solution for fitness gear and apparel to get your heart pumping!

Shape up and redeem now! http://i-say.co/HealthyHeartSM

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Where should you travel to in 2016? See the top places to visit this year!

Thinking about taking a trip this year? Here are some of the top places to visit in 2016 and what to do once you’re there!fb-hiking

Bermuda

This tropical utopia is not only filled with great beaches but includes one of the best whale watching seasons during March and April. The most efficient and fun way to get around the island for tourists are motorized scooters and hybrid electric bikes. Their lobster season is one of the best in the world. It is usually served in their classic creamy tomato sauce along with their signature wahoo which is grilled mild white fish.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

We all know how beautiful Hawaii is but not as many people know about the molten rock emanating from their volcanoes.  The Hawai’i volcanoes have created hundreds of new land masses deep within the Pacific Ocean. From March through October, there are shorter lines and more opportunities to see the lava flow. Be sure to visit the Volcano Art Center Gallery to get authentic woven Hawaiian baskets, home grown Ka’u coffee and fresh Hawaiian sweetbread. This National Park was established in 1916 and covers 333,086 acres of the island.

Glasgow, Scotland

The vintage soot covered buildings of the 15th century are gone and what remains is a new beautiful cityscape. The city includes close to 100 differing gardens including Victory Park which still has fragments of an ancient swamp forest. The forest is called Fossil Grove which protects 11 fossilized tree stumps which are about 330 million years old.

Philippines

This giant archipelago which consists of 7,107 islands has a variety of beaches including the Great Santa Cruz Island. On the south island of Siargao includes hundreds of coral and fish species. Some of the top cuisines can be found at the Midnight Mercato Centrale where they have Filipino-style pork belly strips, beef tongue burritos, and slow roasted pork known as liempo. A hidden gem about the Philippines is its beautiful green countryside which is filled with cattle, horses, and water buffalo.

To search for more great destinations, see this article here!

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See the top healthy New Year’s resolutions for 2016. See how to make your resolution a reality!

What’s your healthy new year’s resolution? Eat better? Get more sleep? Exercise more?fb_NYE resolution

Whatever it is, you can do it and to help, we’ve researched the best way for you to achieve your New Year’s resolution for 2016. Research shows that making goals will give you more motivation and direction in achieving your desired results.  Making a plan will give you excitement about the rewards that your goals will eventually yield.

One of the biggest reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail is because of unrealistic results and expectations in a short amount of time. According to research, 77% of Americans make resolutions and after six months, only 40% of those people have continued their resolution. It’s no secret that the hardest part of a resolution is sticking to your plan each and every day. Consistency is key.

How to set realistic goals

One of the most helpful tips when making a resolution is making obtainable goals. Knowing what you physically can do and can’t do is important. Setting manageable goals where you’ll be challenged but not discouraged is paramount. Keeping a steady, consistent pace with your plan is more important than trying to lose 30 pounds in the first 3 weeks.

Rethink your diet

Try to keep your home or apartment stocked with only healthy foods. If you don’t have junk food in your home, you won’t be able binge eat late at night or snack when you get that craving. Instead, you’ll be eating celery, fruits, and protein such as chicken or fish.  Making an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables is much more manageable than saying “I’m going to lose 20 pounds”!

Be patient, results won’t happen overnight

Patience and consistency are the two most important aspects when making a New Year’s resolution. It’s important that you take it one week a time. You’ll find more success if you make little goals such as, “I’m going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of this week”; as opposed to “I’m going to the gym 3 times this week”. Being specific with your goals helps increase the progress of your workout plan.

NOW GO AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!

To learn more, see this research article here!

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Play our new Trade to Travel Draw Trivia game on Facebook and Twitter!

If you play our new Trade to Travel Draw trivia game on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll find great ideas on where to travel to!tw_soccer fans-blog

Each social media post will provide an interesting question asking you to identify either destinations, sports stadiums, or music venues. The answer to the question will appear the next day located in the comments/reply section within the same post. If you like trivia and know your geography, you should be able to guess each question right!

Start planning your vacation or next concert because there’s four chances to win great prizes! Redeem 200 i-Say points for one entry before April 30th for your chance to win! Two winners will receive a vacation worth up to $4000! Take some time and explore exotic destinations or historical landmarks. The other two winners will receive a $400 StubHub eGift card where you can enjoy sporting events and concerts right from the front row!

Don’t miss your opportunity to take the journey of a lifetime with Trade to Travel Draw! If you want to enter multiple times, take more surveys! Redeem your i-Say points for rewards before April 30th!

Catalog page: http://i-say.co/TradeToTravelCatalogRewards
See the rules: http://i-say.co/TradeToTravelRules

Share your opinions and choose your rewards at www.i-Say.com by taking our surveys!

Can your favorite holiday movies indicate your political affiliation?

During the holidays, family and friends will cozy up together to enjoy some of their favorite holiday movies.fb_holiday movie

According to the Ipsos study, a person’s holiday movie preference can indicate which political affiliated state they’re from. The study also broke down the demographics based on holiday movie preferences. Baby boomers we’re fans of movies such as It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and Miracle on 34th Street. Generation X preferred movies like Home Alone, Elf, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

The only movie that seemed to crossover both age and political affiliations was ‘A Christmas Story.’

See the full results for all holiday movie preferences below:

12-21 blog

To learn more, see our Ipsos research study here!

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Can holiday shopping actually make you happier?

There are a variety of ways that our society seeks happiness. Whether it’s working out or snacking on tasty treats, we’re all looking for that release of endorphins.fb-holiday happiness

As the holiday season approaches, stores will be filled with people who’re frantically trying to get the perfect gift for their loved ones. More than 68% of Americans said they were “happy” after completing their holiday shopping. The source of happiness isn’t just the act of shopping. It also includes factors such as researching online, mapping out which stores to visit, and searching for the best deals.

When shopping, there are many other factors that contribute to a buyer’s happiness. They include good retail service, saving money on items, completing shopping tasks off a list, and just the enjoyment of spending quality time with friends or family.

So, are more people buying for themselves or someone else? According to the Ipsos study, 57% of Americans said they were shopping for themselves and 61% said they were buying for someone else. Impulse purchases account for 2/3 of holiday shopping sales. The type of products that receive the most impulse purchases are electronics, toys/games, and apparel.  According to the study, the average American spends $446 and 3.8 hours shopping while visiting almost 4 different stores during the holiday season.

So, after reading this study, do you still believe “it’s better to give than to receive?” Statistically, it benefits a shopper to both give and receive. Shopping for the holidays should be a fun experience that can be shared with others. The sense of community and camaraderie with friends and family is really the greatest gift of all.

To learn more about the emotional effects of holiday shopping, see our Ipsos research study here!

 

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Don’t freeze up now! There’s just one month left to enter the Trade to Travel Draw!

Winter is here and but you can stay warm this holiday season with the Trade to Travel Draw! Don’t miss your chance to win your dream vacation worth up to $4000! Simply redeem 200 i-Say points for one entry or 400 points for two before December 31st.TTT_fb_machupichu

Need some more points? Take another survey! The more surveys you take, the more points you’ll earn to redeem for your entries.

The top two winners will receive a dream vacation worth up to $4000 to any place of their choosing . Create your amazing experience with friends or family while exploring  a new destination! The other two winners will receive a $400 StubHub eGift card to enjoy their favorite concerts and sporting events anywhere in the world!

Still cold? Change your scenery by entering the Trade to Travel Draw now! Redeem 200 i-Say points for one entry into the Trade to Travel Draw before the 31st.

Sign in: http://www.i-say.com/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx
See the rules: http://www.i-say.com/Footerlinks/TradingPostDraw/tabid/323/Default.aspx

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Shop for popular holiday gifts with the i-Say rewards catalog!

There’s always that “it” gift that parents will wait in long lines for. According to Fox News, in 2014, the “it” gifts were any music from Taylor Swift and all things Elsa.  According to this article, consumers bought enough Elsa dolls from Amazon.com to pass the top of Cinderella’s Castle 855 times (for those of you that don’t know, Cinderella’s castle is 189 feet tall).  That’s amazing!!! What do you think the next “it” gift will be?online shopping

This Black Friday you can choose to go into stores or you can order your presents online. Last year, Ipsos and Google found that 75% of smartphone users planned to use their mobile devices for their holiday shopping. Businesses are trying to focus on engaging you (the consumer) online because convenience is a big draw to shopping. Businesses are also aware of how you want to save money. The same study from Ipsos and Google shows that in 2010, consumers accessed on average, 5 different sources before making their final gift decision. Last year, that number increased to 12 sources.

Let i-Say help you with your holiday gift shopping!! http://i-say.com/GiftArea/tabid/166/Default.aspx

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Will a new U.S. President improve the economy? See what Americans had to say?

According to an Ipsos study, 32% of Americans think that the economy will improve with a new President in the White House. However, 51% of Americans feel that there’ll be no change in how the economy will function. The study states that 17% of Americans actually believe the U.S. economy will weaken when a new President comes into office.wall-st-fb

Young Americans tend to be more optimistic about the U.S. economy and what a new President can do to strengthen it. Americans aged 18-34, which accounts for 32% of the U.S. population, think the economy will improve following the presidential election in November of 2016. As the American age range increases, the optimism decreases. Americans aged 35 to 54 accounts for 30% of economic optimism while those aged 55 and up are only at 29%.

It’s clear that Americans are eager to learn how a new president will improve their day-to-day lifestyle. The Ipsos study broke down which specific aspects are most valued by Americans when it comes to electing a new President. A large of majority of Americans (32%) stated that the President’s ability to help them save money was paramount. This statistic was followed by 23% of Americans who stressed the importance of being able to pay their bills on time as to not fall into debt.

It’s not clear whether a new President will significantly improve the economy but, it is clear is that Americans are looking for a candidate who is interested in improving the day-to-day living of every U.S. citizen. Instead of grand gestures or false proclamations during elections, Americans want to believe in a candidate who can provide just a little bit extra to help everyone live happier and easier lives.

 

Share your opinions and choose your rewards at www.i-Say.com by taking our surveys!