One-Third of Americans Lack an Accurate Perception of Their Finances

Many respondents to a Prudential Financial survey are misjudging how well-off they are.

One-third of Americans do not have an accurate handle on the state of their own finances, thinking they are better or worse off than they actually are, Prudential Financial Inc. learned in its Financial Wellness Census.

This is one of a three-pronged effort “to kick-start a conversation among Americans from all walks of life about their relationship with money and its impact on their well-being,” a representative from the company says.

“Our relationship with money can affect our physical health, stress levels and state of mind, family dynamics and even our performance at work,” says Stephen Pelletier, executive vice president and chief operating officer (CIO) of Prudential’s U.S.-based businesses. “That’s why it’s so important to us as a company to hear from Americans across the country about the financial challenges and opportunities they face. Only by listening can we truly learn what people need, to help them get on the path to financial wellness and stay on the right track throughout their lives.”

The survey also found that Americans’ biggest financial worry is that they will never be able to retire and will have to continue working as long as they can hold a job. More than 50% think they will be able to achieve their financial goals, but less than 50% are on track to achieve them.

Prudential and Chadwick Martin Bailey conducted the survey among 3,013 adults.

In addition, Prudential also launched a new campaign created in partnership with Droga5 called “The State of US,” which includes a series of films that spotlight the financial challenges facing Americans, particularly young parents, women, pre-retirees and the self-employed. The stories reflect the most common financial challenges facing Americans, such as longer life expectancies, the cost of higher education and the changing nature of employment.