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State Fair poll: Adults say wealth becoming more important

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In challenging economic times, many adults are focused on getting more money. And kids? They apparently are watching mom and dad. They say they prefer a dollar to a hug.

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According to a survey of 775 adults at the Minnesota State Fair taken Saturday, Aug. 29, a majority of respondents (60 percent) believe accumulating wealth is more important today than it was 12 months ago. Similarly, a majority of kids (61 percent) said that a dollar is better than a hug.

An equal percentage of men and women (60 percent) agreed that accumulating wealth is more important today than it was one year ago. However, just more than half (54 percent) of pre-retirees (age 45-64) said wealth is more important, while two-thirds (67 percent) of both younger adults (age 18-44) and seniors (age 65+) said that building one's bank account is more important today.

Thrivent Financial Question of the Day at the Minnesota State Fair

Is accumulating wealth more or less important to you than it was 12 months ago? (A) More important (B) Less important

All Respondents: More important - 60 percent; Less important - 40 percent

Female Respondents: More important - 60 percent; Less important - 40 percent

Male Respondents: More important - 60 percent; Less important - 40 percent

Age 18-44 Respondents: More important - 67 percent; Less important - 33 percent

Age 45-64 Respondents: More important - 54 percent; Less important - 46 percent

Age 65+ Respondents: More important - 67 percent; Less important - 33 percent

Kid's Question (Age 17 and younger; 358 respondents)

Which do you like better? (A) A dollar (B) A hug?

Children/Youth Respondents: A dollar - 61 percent; A hug - 39 percent

"Wealth is sometimes viewed as the measuring stick for one's success in life," said Patrick Egan, Thrivent Financial director of asset management and product development. "But it's important to step back and recall that money is simply a tool, not an end in itself."

Egan says many people can benefit from the concept of stewardship. "We all want to make the most of our money," Egan notes, "but sharing can really add great joy to life. I've never met anyone who regretted giving back to others, whether through a tax-wise gift to a charity or through a hug for one's kids."

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