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Money Magazine Survey: Americans Are Worried About Their Financial Security

By    |   Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:45 AM

Many Americans — including the affluent — are worried about their long-term financial security, a new survey reveals.

Out of 1,018 adults surveyed by Money Magazine, 64 percent with household income lower than $100,000 say they're worried about their family's economic security, while 49 percent of those with household incomes higher than $100,000 say they're worried.

Women tend to worry more than men. Specifically, two-thirds of women surveyed say they're worried about their financial outlook, compared with 54 percent of men.

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Even the affluent feel they're just getting by. Of those with incomes over $100,000, 37 percent say they're living paycheck to paycheck, compared with 55 percent of those with incomes under $100,000.

In addition, 38 percent of those with triple-digit incomes say they couldn't handle a $10,000 unexpected expense, compare with 66 percent of families earning less than $100,000.

About a third of the more affluent say they couldn't live comfortably for three months if the family breadwinner lost their job, compared with 47 percent of the less well-off.

At least Americans feel they've improved economically in the last few years. In 2009, just 11 percent said they were better off than a year before. But now 30 percent say they're better off now than a year ago.

The collapse of the financial system and the housing market seems to have permanently damaged people's feeling of economic security.

"If you don't believe that your environment will persist, you're not willing to stake out plans," Tyler Cowen, a George Mason University economics professor, tells Money Magazine. "For example, you won't buy a home based on the premise that in five years you'll be earning more money. The volatility of the stock market and the government shutdown have only made it harder."

Other surveys show similar findings. A recent poll by the Consumer Federation of America indicates that only 35 percent of Americans feel they are making good or excellent progress toward meeting their savings needs, while about two-thirds are making only fair or no progress.

"Only about one-third of Americans are living within their means and think they are prepared for the long-term financial future," says Stephen Brobeck, the group's executive director. "One-third are living within their means but are often not prepared for this long-term future. And one-third are struggling to live within their means."

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Many Americans — including the affluent — are worried about their long-term financial security, a new survey reveals.
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2014-45-02
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:45 AM
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