America This Week: Inflation Ate My Retirement Target, Cannabis is The New Poinsettia, Ghost Job Postings, and Sports Fandom Keeps Growing

The latest trends in society and culture from The Harris Poll

The latest craze for Costco’s gold bars shows that Americans are either hedging inflation or chasing a new investing meme. Our America This Week poll, fielded April 5th to 7th among 2,046 Americans, suggests both. Over half of Gen Z (54%) and (48%) of Millennials say their impulse purchases are hurting their long-term financial planning, as do one-third (34%) of the general public. So, a gold brick lying around is both bling and impulsively inconvenient?

This week, we have four new stories: First, the gap in America’s retirement goal is growing seventeen-fold thanks to inflation. Next, we dive into the world of home-grown cannabis. Then we look at the rash of ghost job postings by an overloaded recruitment industry and finish on the explosion of sports fandom.

America’s Magical Retirement Number is Ballooning: Northwestern Mutual-Harris Poll

That number in the mind of Americans looking at retiring is growing alongside inflation, according to New Harris research with Northwestern Mutual in Bloomberg and Business Insider.

  • A typical person now believes they need $1.5 million to retire comfortably, nearly 17 times more than the $88,400 the average saver has set aside.

  • However, there is variation among generations: Gen Z and Millennials said they would feel comfortable retiring with over $1.6 million, Gen X thinks $1.56 million, and Boomers think $990,000.
  • But all of those are hundreds of thousands — if not millions — off from how much each cohort has saved: The average amounts saved were $22,800 for Gen Z, $62,600 for Millennials, $108,600 for Gen X, and $120,300 for Boomers.
  • The harsh reality: More than two in five Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X believe there is a chance they could outlive their savings (46%, 46%, and 42%).

Takeaway: “People’s ‘magic number’ is now 50% higher than during the pandemic,” said Aditi Javeri Gokhale, chief strategy officer at Northwestern Mutual. “Soaring costs are putting more pressure on consumers to plan and be disciplined savers, and everyone knows they will need more money as they live longer.”

Cannabis is Growing in The Home Garden: Royal Queen Seeds-Harris Poll

As the April 20th cannabis holiday approaches, we find with Royal Queen Seeds, covered by Benzinga, that Americans are open to home cannabis cultivation.

  • Three in five (59%) of Americans (21+) believe that all Americans should have the right to legally grow cannabis at home – increasing to (81%) of cannabis users.
  • We have it at home: (62%) of cannabis consumers would rather grow their cannabis than buy it.
  • Over two in five (43%) home-grown cannabis users say they grow their own because it’s more cost-effective than buying cannabis flowers in stores, and (39%) report superior quality of home-grown cannabis.
  • Cannabis seeds are the hottest gift to give: (37%) of Americans agree they would consider buying cannabis seeds as a gift for someone on 4/20, increasing to two-thirds (66%) of cannabis users.

Takeaway: “All adults should be allowed to grow their cannabis alongside their fruits and vegetables, if they so choose, without the fear of financial or criminal penalties,” Shai Ramsahai, president of Royal Queen Seeds, says. People enjoy growing at home for many reasons, from cost savings and knowing how their plants were grown to just plain old having fun.”

Ghost Job Postings Frustrate Job Searchers: Indeed-Harris Poll

Ghost job postings have been making headlines for the past few months, creating a false sense of reality for many job seekers. According to our data with Indeed in Forbes and Worth, the situation might not get better soon.

  • Job seekers are growing frustrated: Over half (54%) of potential job seekers said it takes too long to hear back about the next steps in the evaluation process.
  • Why? Two-thirds (65%) of hiring managers reported cuts to their recruiting teams.
  • That reflects how overloaded recruiters say they are – spending an average of thirteen hours on each role they must fill.
  • Potential job seekers claim the time could be better spent: (40%) say they have been contacted about jobs that are not a good fit, and (70%) say recruiters should have done more homework before reaching out.
  • Indeed! Nearly two-thirds (63%) of recruiters say they contacted the wrong candidates because they failed to conduct enough research.

Takeaway: “Hiring remains challenging and inefficient. This is especially true when it comes to sourcing the right people for the right jobs,” said Chris Hyams, Indeed CEO.

The Power Of Fandom: Amazon Ads-Harris Poll

As the record TV audience for the NCAA Women’s Championship game shows, it’s more exciting than ever to be a fan of more sports, new leagues, new stars, and all other franchises in our special research report with Amazon featured in Variety.

  • Fandom is a shared American identity: (91%) of Americans are fans who watch, follow, or interact with a franchise somehow, with (52%) having been fans for six or more years.
  • It’s not just a single franchise: Fans engage with an average of ten franchises, while family fans engage with an average of twelve franchises.
  • Growing up together: (30%) stay fans because it’s something to look forward to, and the franchise has been with them as they’ve grown.
  • Parents also connect with their children, as (33%) support their child’s fandom because it gives them a common interest.

Takeaway: “Once you capture a fan’s interest, they now look to you to continue to drive that connection,” says Alexys Coronel, head of U.S. entertainment and telecommunications at Amazon Ads, in a panel featuring the research. “Customers will reward the brands and fandoms they love,” she said.

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from April 5th to 7th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,046 U.S. adults.

John Gerzema headshot

John Gerzema


Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from April 5th to 7th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,046 U.S. adults.


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