Fewer Americans consider themselves financially healthy in 2022. Between the first quarter of 2021 to the last, the number of Americans who see themselves as very financially unhealthy rose from 9% to 17%.
Americans Say They Need $122,000 A Year To Feel Financially Healthy
In a recent Personal Capital and Harris poll, Americans say they need to earn $122,000 a year on average to feel that they’re in good financial shape.
This is near twice the current US average annual salary of $66,665. The poll asked more than 2,000 people in the last quarter of 2021.
The $122,000 is a result of a growing lack of confidence Americans have in their finances and the economy. During the first quarter of 2021, 48% of Americans said they felt “very financially healthy”.
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By the fourth quarter, that number fell to 34%. Conversely, the number of Americans who rated themselves “very unhealthy” financially rose from 9% to 17%.
Inflation, Income Inequality Led To Financial Insecurity
The poll pointed to a number of factors that eroded American confidence. A year was bedeviled by new strains of the coronavirus. The steep increase in prices for goods and services.
In addition, many felt insecure about the “explosion of wealth” in the tech sector. This led to the further widening of the inequality gap. Essentially, the rich got richer while the lower-income workers had to struggle with inflation and supply shortages.
The Personal Capital/Harris Poll bolster the findings made by the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment, The latter reported that economic angst among Americans last November is at its second-lowest level in a decade.
The pessimism arose from constant supply chain problems even as inflation climbed to its highest levels since the 1980s.
Americans Are Paying More For The Same Items
Now, Americans are paying more for the same items like food, furniture, fuel, and housing. This led many Americans to rethink how much money they need to consider themselves financially healthy.
In fact, a $100,000 annual income used to be a symbol of success. Now, most Americans see that number as middle class and not enough to achieve the American Dream.
Experts think that this financial insecurity is also the reason why workers are joining the Great Resignation. Employees are quitting their low-paying jobs in favor of new, higher-paying ones.
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Many people see the move to switch jobs as a way to earn more money. However, the Great Resignation indicates that more Americans are now searching for better financial security.
Many Americans Remain Financially Healthy
However, the situation isn’t as bleak as it seems. About 67% of Americans say that they can still pay their monthly bills on time. 53% say that they are ready for an emergency $500 expense without thinking twice.
Watch the CBS News video reporting that Americans continue to struggle with inflation despite economic growth:
Do you consider your household financially healthy? Did inflation, supply chain issues, and the pandemic affect your financial health?
Tell us how you feel about your current situation. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.