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Money Culture

Financial Anxiety Amid Economic Growth

The economy keeps chugging along, unemployment has been bobbing at or below 5 percent all year, and wages have been creeping up.

Yet anxiety is rising, according to a newly released survey by Northwestern Mutual.  In February,
85 percent of Americans said they had “financial anxiety,” particularly about how they would pay for an unexpected emergency or medical bill.

And here’s how financial anxiety affects them:

  • Callout70 percent say it reduces their “happiness,” their mood, or their ability to pursue their dreams, passions, and interests.
  • 67 percent say it impairs their health.
  • 61 percent say it has a negative effect on their home life.
  • 51 percent say it has a negative effect on their social life.

For more than half, the most popular answer to how financial security would change their lives was: “Peace of mind that I never have to worry about day-to-day expenses.”

Northwestern Mutual summed things up by saying “the levels to which financial anxiety is impacting all corners of people’s lives is extraordinary.”

Pretty strong words for a typically cautious insurance company.

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4 Responses to Financial Anxiety Amid Economic Growth

  1. John says:

    Just read your financial anxiety piece, and the ‘study’ by Northwestern insurance. Folks this is not a quality study. It simply confirms that people worry about money. No data on how these respondents were selected.

    What is the utility of knowing Americans worry about money? How does that help?

    How do insurance companies sell insurance? They manipulate people’s worries. This so called ‘study’ is an insurance marketing tool.

    Please review publishing pieces like this with someone more skeptical first.

    I love CRR, read your work carefully, have been retired ten years, and do not ‘worry’ about money.

  2. Staying up at night and worrying about money won’t magically make cash appear in a depleted bank account, or help you decide how to save for your retirement. Instead, learning how to calm your fears and feel confident about your financial choices is a matter of education, action, and respect. As you find proactive ways to stay on top of your finances, you just may find that the anxious feeling that comes when checking your bank balance dissipates in favor of control and confidence.

  3. Ex-Salesman Mike says:

    I agree with John, above, in questioning the source of the study. Sounds like “advocacy research.” Imagine the great opening for the salesperson…”Studies show 85% of all Americans suffer from financial anxiety; you don’t want to be one of them, do you?”

  4. Great article but I am disagree with you that 70 percent say it reduces their “happiness,” their mood, or their ability to pursue their dreams, passions, and interests. I think these are fake statistics.