Financial Worries That Keep Americans Awake at Night

A new Gallup poll shows the overall anxiety level down from the height of the economic crisis but not back to prerecession numbers. Here are the details.

Worried that you won’t have enough money for retirement? You’re not alone, says a new Gallup poll.

Retirement money is our top financial concern, according to Gallup’s Financial Worry metric, which shows 60 percent of Americans say they are “very” or “moderately” worried about having enough retirement money.

Overall, half of us have substantial financial anxiety, a figure little changed from 2014 but down substantially from the 56 to 61 percent range reported from 2008 through 2012, Gallup found. In telephone interviews conducted April 9-12 with 1,015 adults, Gallup asked about seven financial issues the pollster has tracked annually since 2001 as part of its annual Economy and Personal Finance survey. The metric reflects the percentage of Americans who are moderately to highly worried about three or more financial issues.

The issues, and the percent of those who responded that they were “very” or “moderately” worried:

  1. Not having enough money for retirement: 60 percent
  2. Not being able to pay medical costs of a serious illness/accident: 55 percent
  3. Not being able to maintain the standard of living you enjoy: 46 percent
  4. Not being able to pay medical costs for normal health care: 42 percent
  5. Not having enough to pay your normal monthly bills: 36 percent
  6. Not being able to pay your rent, mortgage or other housing costs: 32 percent
  7. Not being able to make the minimum payments on your credit cards: 20 percent

Gallup Financial Worry metricGallup Financial Worry metric

Adults in households earning less than $30,000 a year are fraught with financial anxiety, the poll found, with 44 percent worried about six or seven of the seven issues. The proportion of heavy worriers drops to just 6 percent of households earning $75,000 or more.

Americans’ current levels of worry about those seven indicators suggest they have not fully recovered from the recession despite other recent studies showing their optimism increasing.

What’s your top financial worry? Tell us on our Facebook page or in the comments below.

Stacy Johnson

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