Two-Thirds of Americans Could Be Ruined by Another Recession

If recent history is any guide, the United States could face another serious recession in the next year or so. The Great Recession officially ended eight years ago and, on average, another U.S. recession follows along in about six years. We’re overdue.

How well are Americans prepared for the next recession? Not very, according to a survey released Monday by GOBankingRates. A full 60% of Americans have yet to recover from the Great Recession and 68% have no investment strategy to help cope with a new recession. In fact, 49% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

The situation is worse among women, 69% of whom say they couldn’t cover six months of living expenses from savings. Among men, 52% say they don’t have enough savings to cover six months of living expenses.

Among other data points from the survey:

  • 52% of young millennials (18 to 24) are living paycheck to paycheck, compared to 44% of older (65+) Americans.
  • 72% of young millennials do not have enough savings to cover six months of living expenses, compared to 51% of older people.
  • No age group reported an investment strategy that accounts for a recession at a rate of more than 38%. The lowest was young millennials (23%) while 38% of 55-to-64-year olds reported a strategy that accounts for a recession.

Methodology: This GOBankingRates survey posed six questions to 1,007 people in the United States. Responses were collected through Survata on May 30, 2017, and responses are representative of the U.S. online population. The survey has a 3.1% margin of error.

Respondents were asked the following questions, and could only answer “yes” or “no”: (1) Are you currently living paycheck to paycheck? (2) Do you currently have enough money saved to cover six months of living expenses? (3) Are you ready to search for a new job with an updated resume? (4) Do you have multiple streams of income? (5) Does your investment strategy account for a recession? (6) Were you personally affected by the recession of 2008?

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