Americans Feel Good About Paying Bills; Just Don’t Ask About Retirement

New polling shows that people do not feel like they’re saving enough money for the long term.

Money Roll
National Journal
Nancy Cook
Nov. 25, 2013, 5 a.m.

Amer­ic­ans feel con­fid­ent that they can pay their monthly bills, even if they ex­press doubt about their abil­ity to plan and save for their fin­an­cial fu­tures.

That’s ac­cord­ing to new res­ults from an All­state/Na­tion­al Journ­al Heart­land Mon­it­or Poll, which re­cently gauged Amer­ic­an’s at­ti­tudes to­ward their per­son­al fin­ances five years after the glob­al fin­an­cial re­ces­sion.

Ninety per­cent of those sur­veyed said they felt fine about cov­er­ing day-to-day costs, an in­crease of 8 per­cent since April 2013. But Amer­ic­ans’ con­fid­ence level de­creased when it came to their abil­ity to pay med­ic­al bills for them­selves and their fam­ily (just 71 per­cent said that this seemed “real­ist­ic”). Sixty-eight per­cent had faith in their abil­ity to make mort­gage pay­ments, or pay off their debts, while just 58 per­cent felt like they were in­vest­ing their money for their fu­ture.

The abil­ity to make fin­an­cial plans splits starkly among those with col­lege de­grees and those without them. Four in 10 Amer­ic­ans, without col­lege edu­ca­tions, said they rarely had enough money left over each month after pay­ing their bills. Only 19 per­cent of col­lege grads found them­selves in such a paycheck-to-paycheck ex­ist­ence.

To in­crease their abil­ity to save money in the long run, the ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans said that it was worth mak­ing sac­ri­fices in their daily spend­ing habits. They would make this trade-off, re­spond­ents said, even if it meant a lower qual­ity of life.

Few Amer­ic­ans be­lieved that any fin­an­cial wind­fall would ar­rive in the form of an in­her­it­ance. Sev­enty-four per­cent of Amer­ic­ans nev­er re­ceived this type of money from fam­ily mem­bers; 68 per­cent did not ex­pect to, either.

Over­all, the ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans (53 per­cent) still be­lieve the U.S. re­mains in the throes of a re­ces­sion, a few years after the down­turn tech­nic­ally ended. It’s a com­ment­ary on the fra­gile fin­an­cial state that many Amer­ic­ans still feel like they find them­selves in, es­pe­cially when it comes to sav­ing for re­tire­ment, col­lege, or a rainy day fund.

What We're Following See More »
TWO-THIRDS
Voters Want Medical Records
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Even though they dislike both of them, the American people want to know that its presidential candidates are healthy. "Nearly two-thirds of registered voters think presidential candidates should release details about their medical histories, according to a new Morning Consult poll." In the new poll, 64 percent of Americans say the candidates should release their medical reports, up nine percent from May.

Source:
OPTIMISM ABOUT STATE OF ECONOMY
Yellen Paves Way For Interest Rate Hike
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a speech Friday at the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole summit, Fed chair Janet Yellen sounded an optimistic tone about the state of the American economy, before implying that a hike in interest rates is on the horizon. The Fed "continues to anticipate that gradual increases in the federal funds rate will be appropriate over time to achieve and sustain employment and inflation near our statutory objectives," Yellen said in her address.

Source:
10 CASES
Study Finds Little Evidence of Voter Fraud
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

While politicians argue over whether or not to be worried about potential voter fraud come November, a study tells us it is not a legitimate concern. "A News21 analysis four years ago of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states found that while some fraud had occurred since 2000, the rate was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million registered voters in that 12-year span. The analysis found only 10 cases of voter impersonation, the only kind of fraud that could be prevented by voter ID at the polls."

Source:
$7.3 MILLION IN JULY
Donations to DNC Relied on ‘Workaround’
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The Democratic National Committee's "influx of money" in July "owes in part to an unprecedented workaround of political spending limits that lets the party tap into millions of dollars more" from Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors. "At least $7.3 million of the DNC’s July total originated with payments from hundreds of major donors who had already contributed the maximum $33,400 to the national committee." Those payments were "first bundled by the Hillary Victory Fund and then transferred to the state Democratic parties, which effectively stripped the donors’ names and sent the money to the DNC as a lump sum."

Source:
OFF COAST OF HAWAII
Obama Creates World’s Largest Protected Reserve
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

President Obama this morning "created the largest protected area on the planet Friday, by expanding a national marine monument off the coast of his native Hawaii to encompass 582,578 square miles of land and sea."

Source:
×