Sensing that the recession is nearing an end but that the recovery will be a long road ahead, Americans are planning drastic changes to the way they approach money, saving and investing, with 18% planning to save more, Country Financial found in a survey of 3,000 people.

Sixty one percent said they have been adversely affected by the recession, yet 48% said the way their family has coped with the economic downturn excellently or well. Still, 52% of this group said it will take at least two years for their financial situation to recover.

Twenty-eight said they have had to find additional sources of income to help pay bills, be it through a second job (30% of this group) or with their spouse returning to work (14%).

Looking ahead, 25% said they will be less reliant on credit and debt, 21% plan to continue sticking to a strict budget, and 18% plan on saving and investing more.

“Americans are incredibly resilient, and it’s encouraging to see people are really trying to change,” said Keith Brannan, vice president of financial security planning at Country Financial. “Making permanent, positive changes in how we all handle our money will make a big difference in achieving long-term financial security. Despite the financial setbacks that may have been outside of our control, most families can still build a financially secure future for themselves with proper planning.

“While many think it will take several years to get back on track after the recession, with time and discipline, most can achieve their financial security goals,” Brannan added.

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