Americans Still Fretting Over Money

Things might be looking up on Wall Street, but a new survey found 84% of Americans still fret about their finances.

A news release about the Thrivent Financial/Kiplinger Survey of Family Finances poll said a third of the 1,000 respondents replied “struggling” when asked to describe their financial situation. Another 24% said they were “worried,” versus 29% who described their financial situation as “stable.” In addition, 43% said things had gotten worse over the past two years, versus only 18% whose situation had improved.

“Not enough retirement savings” continues to be the most prevalent worry among respondents, cited by about one-fifth of those surveyed. However, more people are concerned about losing their job (18%) compared to two years ago (15%) and less worried about credit-card debt (13%, versus 18% two years ago). Only 16% of respondents reported that they are worry-free.

Three-fourths of those interviewed said recent market volatility has affected the way they handle money, at least a little. Some 55% are less willing to take risks with their money.

Nearly 60% said their most important financial goal is maintaining financial stability, compared with 23% who aim to increase their assets. In contrast, two years ago 37% were more concerned about building assets and 41% wanted to maintain stability.

The survey suggested women are more worried than men. Even though men have been hit harder by layoffs during the recession, women were more likely to say they are struggling financially (37% versus 29%). Roughly 29% said the recession has caused tension between them and their spouse or partner.

Unmarried respondents were far more likely than their married counterparts to report that they are struggling (40% versus 28%) and less likely to describe their situation as stable (23% versus 34%).

Conducted in March, the Synovate eNation online survey polled 1,000 adults 18 years of age or older in the U.S.  More information is available at