3 In 4 Americans Say They’re Not Financially Secure, New Report Shows


Authored by Jen Krausz via The Epoch Times,

According to a new Bankrate report, three in four Americans say they are not financially secure, and feel they need to make more money to attain an acceptable level of financial security.

In the study by YouGov, Americans said they needed to make $186,000 on average to feel financially secure – more than twice the $79,209 the Census Bureau reported the average full-time worker made in 2022.

Of the 75 percent who said they weren’t financially secure, 45 percent said they believed they would reach financial security one day, while 30 percent said they never expect to be financially secure.

The report said that older generations believed themselves less financially secure than younger generations.

Forty-two percent of baby boomers aged 60 to 78 and 37 percent of Gen Xers aged 44 to 59 said they were not financially secure—and didn’t think they ever would be. This compares to 21 percent of millennials aged 28 to 43 and 13 percent of Gen Z aged 18 to 27.

Younger generations were more likely to say they were not financially secure, but that they would be one day—including 64 percent of Gen Z, 53 percent of millennials, 48 percent of Gen Xers, and 26 percent of baby boomers.

“Life always seems like it’d be better with just a little bit more money to spare,” Bankrate analyst Sarah Foster said of the report’s findings.

“That’s even more true when the items Americans both need and want have been climbing in price. In the four years since the pandemic, comfort is no longer a commodity but a financial privilege, appearing to only be afforded to those wealthy enough to ‘eat’ the impact of inflation.”

Six percent of survey respondents said they currently earn the annual income they need to feel financially secure, while 37 percent said they were likely to earn a large enough salary to feel financially secure in their lifetime.

Of those earning more than $100,000 a year, 49 percent said they were optimistic they would be financially secure one day, while only 34 percent of those who made less than $50,000 were similarly optimistic.

Furthermore, Americans said they would need to make $520,000 to feel rich and financially free in the new report—up 8 percent from last year’s $483,000.

Inflation has impacted these numbers: Americans see prices rising, and know they need more income to cover basic expenses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates that inflation has caused a price increase of 21 percent since 2020, while the USDA says food prices have risen 25 percent, and U.S. government data shows a 41 percent increase in gas prices.

“Making more money is the secret to weathering inflation, but it’s also true that being a higher-income earner won’t automatically translate to being better at personal finance,” Ms. Foster said.

“Someone with a traditional middle-class salary who always tries to save for the future, no matter how small, is destined for financial success more than an ultra-wealthy earner who lives and spends beyond his or her means.”

Even so, the report shows that Americans are feeling squeezed financially by inflation, and that income gains have not kept up with rising prices.

“Many Americans are stuck somewhere between continued sticker shock from elevated prices, a lack of income gains, and a feeling that their hopes and dreams are out of touch with their financial capabilities,” Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said.


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