Persistent Financial Anxiety

The Gallup organization’s annual survey on personal finances, conducted this past April, shows that a remarkable 40% of Americans say they are either running into debt or barely making ends meet. Only 25% report that they are saving enough for retirement; 18% admit that they have saved nothing at all.

In fact, since Gallup’s poll in April 2016, before the last Presidential election, some measures have barely moved at all. In the earlier poll, 21% of respondents reported making minimum payments on their credit cards; the recent survey found that this percentage was virtually unchanged, at 20%. There were few changes in people worried about paying for their children’s college (37% in 2016; 36% this year), paying for normal healthcare (45% to 42%) and paying rent or mortgage (34% to 30%).

In contrast, a lucky 27% have no immediate financial concerns and do not worry about healthcare issues or paying medical costs involved with a major illness or accident. Until that number grows, the economically strong U.S. will continue to be a nation of “haves” and “have-nots.”

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