Retirement, Health Care are Americans’ Biggest Financial Fears

Affording their rent or mortgage comes up third.


The biggest financial fears keeping Americans up at night are being able to retire comfortably, cited by 30%, followed by health care expenses (19%) and affording their rent or mortgage (11%). Financial issues are so critical to Americans that 59% said they would rather discuss “the birds and the bees” with a stranger than their own financial situation. Among women, this jumps to 63%, compared with 55% of men. This is according to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index.

For those 65 or older, health care is the biggest worry, cited by 43%, followed by affording rent or mortgage and a child’s education. On the other end of the spectrum, Millennials are focused first and foremost on their job security, then paying for housing and being able to retire comfortably.

“As Americans meet financial goals throughout their lifetime, they have less financial hurdles to worry about,” says Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security at COUNTRY Financial. “However, even at earlier stages in life, it’s important to take a long-term view and make sure to plan ahead for retirement and health care expenses, as these concerns become front of mind at older ages.”

Overall, 83% of Americans have some kind of anxiety about their finances. For these people, COUNTRY Financial recommends that they create a budget, contribute to an emergency fund and start saving early. “Taking a long-term view and having a game plan can really provide a solid sense of security,” Buhrmann says.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index is based on a survey of 1,000 adults conducted by GfK.