A survey conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts shows that half of Americans (49%) do not feel financially secure at this time. It took place from November 6th to December 3rd of last year and the actual number of respondents was 7,845. Many of the people surveyed stated that they spend all of their earnings on monthly expenses and some are actually spending more than they earn just to make ends meet. More than 90% of the respondents felt that financial stability was more important than simply increasing one’s income.
The good news is that 56% of those surveyed felt that their financial situation had improved since the recession although only 27% of those polled felt that the economy was in good shape during 2014. Oddly, 56% also admitted to having been worried about money last year whether their concerns were about short term obligations or long term goals (such as planning for retirement). 57% also said that they were not prepared for any type of financial emergency.
Not surprisingly, 33% of Americans reported having no savings whatsoever. One very alarming statistic, however, was the fact that only 45% of those surveyed reported having a “steady” income. 82% of the persons taking part in the survey reported having a major “setback” in 2014 including lower income, major house or car repairs, and loss of a spouse or unexpected hospital visit.
With so many Americans feeling insecure about the state of the economy it’s not surprising that 21% of those surveyed stated that they had no plans to retire and only 26% have the more traditional notion of stopping work altogether at a certain age. It’s important to remember that this poll represents the opinions of those questioned and is not necessarily an accurate representation of the economy. It must be said, however, that with so many Americans feeling insecure about the nation’s economy that this in itself can actually make things worse.
When people feel that money is tight they are much more apt to save what they can and to spend very little on items deemed unnecessary such as entertainment or luxury items. This in turn causes the economy to slow down and creates a cycle that affects many businesses and the employees that work there. Regardless of what the future holds financially, the one statistic that can never be predicted is the attitude and actions of the consumer.