Americans Still Under Significant Financial Pressures

July 26, 2010 ( – A new MetLife poll finds that 56% of Americans have taken on more workplace responsibility, 64% are saving more and spending less, while 29% plan a spending cut – all in reaction to the struggling economy.

A MetLife news release about its 2010 MetLife Study of the American Dream study said 41% believe that their personal financial situation will remain the same this year, citing lack of a financial safety net and job loss concerns that will offset many Americans’ efforts to save more, spend less, and work harder.

Many Americans still find themselves close to financial ruin should they lose their job: 45% could not pay expenses for more than a month, and 65% could not do so for more than three months. Sixty-nine percent of Americans do not feel that they currently have an adequate safety net, and 95% of those are concerned about it, the survey discovered.

To top it off, their fears of job loss are high with 55% of Americans concerned about losing their employment, MetLife found.

Finally, 47% of Americans say they have given money to a family member in the past year so they can pay their bills, and 35% have had a family member give them money during that time.

Considering all these financial pressures, it’s no surprise that stress is running high, with 45% of Americans saying that concerns about how they are going to “make ends meet” are keeping them up at night, and 52% saying they feel more stress in performing their job requirements.

The poll found that Americans who consider themselves to have an adequate personal safety net are twice as likely to feel they have achieved the American dream as those who do not (57% vs. 24%).

“For the first time since MetLife polled the Study, Americans perceive their situation to be worse off than that of the U.S. economy in general,” said Beth Hirschhorn, senior vice president, Global Brand and Marketing Services, MetLife, in the news release. “In fact, many Americans report they continue to dig themselves out of a deep financial hole that they have been in since before the economic downturn.”

In assessing the general economy, 26% of Americans believe it will be worse this year than last – a significant decline from 44% who said the same in 2009. Forty-one percent believe the U.S. economy will stay the same, and 33% of Americans believe it will be better this year than last year. Sixty-six percent believe that the full economic recovery of the U.S. is still three or more years away.

From April 14 – 21, 2010, Strategy First Partners, in conjunction with Penn Schoen Berland, conducted 2,201 online surveys in the United States among the general population.

The MetLife study is at