Americans Still Fretting Over Money

May 4, 2010 ( – Things may be looking up on Wall Street, but a new survey finds 84% of Americans still fret about their finances.

A news release about the Thrivent Financial/Kiplinger Survey of Family Finances poll said a third of the 1,000 respondents replied “struggling” when asked to describe their financial situation. Another 24% said they were “worried,” versus 29% who described their financial situation as “stable.” In addition, 43% said things had gotten worse over the past two years, versus only 18% whose situation had improved.

“Not enough retirement savings” continues to be the most prevalent worry among respondents, cited by about one-fifth of those surveyed. However, more people are concerned about losing their job (18%) compared to two years ago (15%) – and less worried about credit-card debt (13% versus 18% two years ago). Only 16% of respondents report that they are worry-free.

Three-fourths of those interviewed say recent market volatility has affected the way they handle money – at least a little. Some 55% are less willing to take risks with their money.

Nearly 60% said their most important financial goal is maintaining financial stability, compared with 23% who aim to increase their assets. In contrast, two years ago 37% were more concerned about building assets and 41% wanted to maintain stability.

Additional findings:

  • Women are more worried than men. Even though men have been hit harder by layoffs during the recession, women were more likely to say they are struggling financially (37% versus 29%). Roughly 29% said the recession has caused tension between them and their spouse or partner.
  • Marriage contributes to financial stability. Unmarried respondents were far more likely than their married counterparts to report that they are struggling (40% versus 28%) and less likely to describe their situation as stable (23% versus 34%).

Conducted in March 2010, the Synovate eNation online survey polled 1,000 adults 18 years of age or older in the contiguous United States.  More information is at