About six out of every 10 Americans are losing sleep over at least one financial issue, and women are more stressed than men. Sixty-eight percent of women report being unable to sleep because of at least one money problem, compared with 56% of men, according to a CreditCards.com report. This gap between men’s and women’s financial stress grew eight percentage points over the past year.
Americans report being unable to sleep because of a combination of worries about saving for retirement (39%), paying for education (30%), paying health care or insurance bills (29%), paying monthly rent or mortgage (26%) and paying credit card debt (22%). The average person who is losing sleep says 2.3 of the above issues are causing loss of sleep.
“There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground when it comes to Americans’ financial worries,” says Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst. “Many folks have none at all, but many of us are worried about several different problems all at once.”
Both genders are most concerned about saving enough money for retirement (44% of women and 35% of men lie awake at least occasionally because of this). Saving for retirement is also the most common worry for people age 30 and older, college graduates and those with annual household income of $75,000 or more. Educational expenses is the No. 1 concern for Millennials and non-whites, and paying for health care or insurance bills is the second-biggest fear among women. Educational expenses rank second for men. The high cost of education may also be affecting the retirement savings of middle-aged adults who are now finding themselves taking care of adult children who have graduated college, but have student loans and don’t have the means to support themselves yet, explains Heather Fraser, president and CEO of Logos Financial Solutions in Miami.
NEXT: The silver lining
Compared with last year, the biggest improvement was observed among households making between $50,000 and $74,999 per year. They’re 14 percentage points less likely to lose sleep over financial matters now than they were in 2015. This year, credit card debt was the least of people’s worries.
“The fact that credit card debt is the least of people’s worries seems like a positive sign,” Schulz says. “It seems to indicate that despite balances continuing to rise after the Great Recession, most Americans feel they have their card debt well under control.”
Fortunately, financial anxiety doesn’t seem to last a lifetime. The study found that this anxiety peaks between 50 and 64 and drops sharply after age 65. CreditCards.com’s full report can be found here.