News In Brief

Report: More Americans are worried about their personal finances

Jaclyn Giovis Feb 22, 2011

More Americans are worried about recession impacts on their personal finances than they were a year ago, according to an annual survey that assesses household saving trends.

The report, released Tuesday by America Saves, showed about 49 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed were “very concerned” about the impact of the current recession on their personal finances, compared with 43 percent last February.

“The recession clearly has not ended for millions of Americans,” Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America and a founder of America Saves, said in a press release. “The persistence of high unemployment rates, large consumer and mortgage debts, and the housing crisis may help explain the lack of saver progress.”

The survey also sought information on how many people:

  • are spending less than they earn and saving the difference

  • are reducing consumer debt or are debt-free

  • have sufficient emergency savings

  • are saving enough for retirement

  • are building home equity or paid off their mortgage

  • are expecting to pay off one’s mortgage before retirement

The results showed that the percentage of respondents that fell in those categories either shrunk or remained the same over the past year.

On the bright side, the proportion of those with a saving plan increased from 55 to 57 percent during the past year. Additionally, those saving for retirement at work rose from 49 to 54 percent, and those saving automatically outside work rose from 41 to 44 percent.

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