Primerica’s recent Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor reported that middle-income families feel less financially prepared than they did three months prior.
Americans remain mostly optimistic about their economic future, but recent financial stresses led 59% of respondents to say that their income is not enough to meet their cost of living.
“Our latest research confirms what we hear from the thousands of middle-income families we meet with each day,” said Glenn J. Williams, CEO of Primerica. “Despite recent economic headwinds, working families are generally staying optimistic about their financial situation, and many are taking important steps to expand their financial knowledge, save for the future, and protect what they have. Over four decades, Primerica representatives have earned the reputation of being a valuable resource, and we stand ready to help even more middle-income families become financially secure.”
Many of the participants in the survey said they are protecting their families with life insurance but other savings methods were mixed: 76% have a savings account, 53% have a retirement account provided through work, 41% have a life insurance policy provided through work and 31% have a policy outside of their work benefits.
Between September and December of 2020, the financial confidence of survey respondents declined. Fewer participants had an emergency fund of more than $1,000 or are saving for a comfortable retirement. Seven percent more participants said they would run out of money to meet their basic needs if the primary breadwinner became unemployed or passed, and fewer said they expect to be better off financially one year from now. Working families remain worried about their physical health (38%), financial situation (27%), their retirement savings (22%) and potential for unemployment (22%).
Women are bearing the brunt of the current economic upheaval, with a record number leaving the workforce, and their financial challenges have worsened as well. More women reported an increase in personal debt than did three months prior. Fewer women feel prepared for the financial impacts of the pandemic and 11% more women said they would run out of money in just one month if the primary breadwinner became unemployed or passed away.
The Monitor surveys households with annual incomes between $30,000-$100,000.