Americans’ Financial Concerns On the Rise

May 5, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Education | Financial Services | Household Income | Pharma & Healthcare | Real Estate | Youth & Gen X

Gallup-Adults-Biggest-Financial-Worries-2016-v-2015-May2016American adults financial worries have increased from last year, and their top concerns have trended upwards for the past couple of years now, per results from Gallup’s latest annual “Economy and Personal Finance” survey. The top concerns for adults this year again is not having enough money for retirement, cited as a worry by 64% of respondents, up from 60% last year and 50% the year before.

Following retirement, adults’ next-greatest financial concern is not being able to pay medical costs of a serious illness or accident, with this proving to very or moderately worrisome to 60% of adults, up from 55% last year and 53% in 2014. Unexpected outlays are a concern as separate Gallup data shows that almost half of Americans can’t afford a major purchase right now.

Meanwhile, the third-ranked financial worry (of the 7 listed) is not being able to maintain the standard of living currently enjoyed. This is a concern for slightly more than half (51%) of American adults, up from 46% last year. Earlier research from Gallup suggests that almost two-thirds (65%) of adults have enough money to live comfortably, with Millennials slightly below-average in that regard.

While Millennials have below-average incomes and are saddled with debt, they remain optimistic about their finances and home ownership prospects, according to a new MarketingCharts study. The report – Marketing Financial Services to Millennials – shows that Millennials’ top financial concerns relate to being able to support their family and afford retirement. While today’s youth are saving primarily for emergency funds, retirement and their children’s education become bigger priorities as they age.

Meanwhile, other recently-released data from Gallup indicates that comfort with one’s financial situation plays a role (unsurprisingly) in which problems are the most concerning. For families who feel that they have enough money to live comfortably, healthcare costs (15%) top the list of most important financial problems, followed by college expenses (9%). But among those who feel that they don’t have enough money to live comfortably, low wages/lack of money (17%) sits atop the list of financial concerns, followed by not having enough money to pay debts (11%) and healthcare costs (11%).

Overall, Americans aged 65 and older are the most apt to feel that they have enough money to live comfortably, with about 3 in 4 feeling that way. Almost 9 in 10 with income of at least $75,000 feel that they have enough, a figure that drops to 36% among those making less than $30,000.

About the Data: Results for the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted April 6-10, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 1,015 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

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