A recent financial security survey has found that many Americans remain anxious about their long-term financial security. The 2019 Primerica Financial Security Monitor found that many families are not taking steps toward a secure future.
Note that this survey of 1,000 middle-income Americans with household incomes between $29,000 and $106,000 was completed in February.
According to the survey, only half of middle-income Americans believe their financial security will improve in the next five years. Just one-in-four Americans feel aware enough to be very comfortable determining how much they need to save for retirement on their own. Half have never met with a financial professional.
The Monitor’s Financial Security Scorecard, which measures individual financial security preparedness, found that only 31% of Americans earn an A or B for preparedness based on answers to key indicators.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents (61%) acknowledge making at least one really bad financial mistake, with an average loss of more than $27,000.
The Monitor survey also examined differences in attitudes and behaviors toward personal finance across generations. Although they are the first generation to grow up as “digital natives,” millennials are the most uncomfortable of any age range doing personal financial tasks online. These respondents, between the ages of 18 and 34, are the least likely to be comfortable opening an investment account, buying insurance, completing taxes or tracking their financial progress without working directly with a financial professional. Feeling comfortable completing personal finance tasks online, unassisted, is highest among Gen Xers (the 35 to 54 age range).
Primerica CEO Glenn Williams commented:
The survey confirmed our experience in the middle market. Most working families don’t feel confident enough to take the steps necessary to achieve financial security. As a result, they are not optimistic about their financial futures. Primerica’s representatives are focused every day on helping middle-income families across North America. We break down financial concepts into straightforward language and provide a financial roadmap to help families determine the right next steps to a more secure financial future.