Nearly All Americans Suffer Financial Stress

Amid high levels of financial stress, a quarter of Americans believe a financial plan would alleviate their anxiety, a survey says.
Nearly nine in 10 of Americans (86%) say they feel stress when it comes to their finances, with women (89%) and younger respondents between the ages of 18 and 44 (91%) the most anxious about their finances. This is according to a survey conducted by ORC International on behalf of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board).

However, 27% said that if they created a financial plan, they believe it would reduce their stress. Other ways to reduce their financial stress cited by respondents are: becoming more financially literate (22%), becoming more aware of their own finances (14%) and spending more time analyzing their finances (12%).

“Whether you are navigating the financial implications of living on your own for the first time or preparing for retirement, almost everyone—at every stage of life—experiences financial stress,” says Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate for the CFP Board. “As long as that financial stress does not paralyze us, it is not necessarily a bad thing. The resulting awareness should empower us to take control of our financial fate.”

Asked what is causing them financial stress, respondents cited debt (23%) as the No. 1 reason, followed by everyday expenses (21%), health expenses (14%) and retirement (13%). As to when they most feel the weight of this anxiety, it’s usually at the end of the month when bills are due (24%), around the holiday season (15%) and during tax preparation season (11%).