Biggest Money Stresses

Nov 22, 2013 by

the american dreamLearnVest financial planning services and Chase Blueprint™ recently published a study titled “The American Dream 2.0: How Americans Define Success and Making It in the U.S. Today.” (Tangent: Pursuing the conventional American Dream clearly isn’t working out too well, in my view, for the pursuers or for the nation and planet. Check out The Center for a New American Dream for a better idea.) The study is based on a survey of 1,223 Americans—846 women and 377 men. Ages ranged from 25 to 54.

American Dream Survey Highlights

A few tidbits from the study that I found especially interesting:

  • Nearly 40% of respondents reported that the recession had “hindered their ability to get ahead”
  • 35% said the recession had lessened their confidence in achieving the American Dream
  • 1 in 7 absorbed a significant pay cut during the recession, and 1 in 8 lost a job
  • 31% of respondents said their parents had been better off than they are now
  • 56% agreed with the statement “I feel like I don’t have enough time to work and take care of my family”
  • 10% agreed with the statement “a woman’s place is in the home” (!!)
  • 35% of respondents say that they check their work email on weekends; 26% check on vacation, and nearly 25% checks again at bedtime!

What Money Issue Stresses Americans the Most?

This infographic, prepared by from the survey data, illustrates respondents’ answers to the question: which money issue stresses you out the most? infographic: Most stressful money issues

In a sort of bass ackwards way I find these results encouraging. How poorly Americans are preparing financially for retirement has been well documented. That many apparently at least recognize the challenge is the first step toward progress.

I don’t see my biggest source of money stress on the list. I worry that my strategy for investing our IRA money might blow up in my face. I wouldn’t mind if no one but me knew about the explosion, but Ms. Money Counselor would surely notice the shockwave. Also, since we have a lot of money in cash because I’m wary of stocks, I’m frustrated that saver interest rates have been so low for so long and show little sign of rising soon. Just as tapering appeared imminent, America’s esteemed national political leaders shot the economy in the foot once again. Since the probability of sanity taking over in D.C appears to be zero, the Fed may feel compelled indefinitely to offset the Democrats’ and Republicans’ singular focus on scoring political points at the expense of working Americans.

What’s Your Biggest Money Stressor?

Of the sources of money stress listed in the infographic, which is most stressful for you? Or, like me, is your #1 something else entirely? C’mon, spill.

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