Financial Trends: What’s In and What’s Out for 2014

Just like food, fashion or fitness, financial trends come and go. Here’s a look at what will be “in” and what will be “out” for 2014.

IN: Mobile payments
OUT: Wallets
The global payments industry is evolving with each passing day and mobile technology is the reason Worldwide mobile payment transactions is up 44 percent from 2012. In 2013, mobile transactions totaled $235.4 billion with a projected rise to $325 billion in 2014 according to tracking firm Gartner.

At the forefront of this trend, the coffee giant Starbucks says that about 11 percent of payments are now made using its app, downloaded on mobile devices. And we’re not just using our phones as virtual wallets to buy lattes at Starbucks or to hitch rides via Uber. As we become more connected than ever, we’re quickly adopting person-to-person payment services to send, receive or request money.

IN: Small mortgage lenders
OUT: Big banks
As big banks continue to retrench from the mortgage business, smaller banks now hold over 60 percent market share of the U.S. origination market. With this shift in mortgage lending we have already seen a growing competition among small companies, regional banks and larger mortgage distributors.

What does this mean? It could encourage better customer service, flexibility and speedier process when it comes to closing loans. Consider doing your own research by reading rating and reviews of local mortgage professionals to assure you’re working with someone who can best meet your needs.

IN: Freelancing
OUT: Full-time employment
Looking back at the past year an astounding one-third of Americans are freelancers, contractors and consultants. As employers continue to look for ways to save money this trend of hiring specialized experts is here to stay. According to some estimates the number of part-time workers is steadily rising since 2009 and could possibly exceed the number of full-time employees in just a few years.

IN: Semi-retirement
OUT: Retirement
Many have considered the security of their pensions especially if forced into early retirement. A growing number of older Americans are taking serious consideration towards financial peach of mind than accumulating wealth. According to a recent study by the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center the proportion of partially retired workers has risen from nearly zero to 15 percent for 60-62 year olds and is over 20 percent for 65-67 year olds.

IN: ‘Living in place’
OUT: ‘Aging in place’
Baby boomers continue to refine what it means to be “old.” And one thing is certain, they don’t want to sit back and simply let time pass them by! Most baby boomers want to stay active, seek out new health and wellness activities, spend time with family and friends and ultimately enjoy life on their terms.

What’s the bottom line? While we saw a lot of remodeling activity with boomers last year and into 2013, the momentum is expected to continue into 2014 and beyond. According to a recent MetLife survey, the oldest baby boomers are more included than ever to keep living where they are rather than move as part of retirement.

What new trends have you noticed for 2014? Leave us a comment below or on Facebook (click here)!

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