This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Money Fears Freaking Out the U.S Family

Stocks in this article: MET

NEW YORK ( BankingMyWay) -- Americans are already fidgety over the U.S. economy, and a fresh rollout of data isn't going to make them feel any better.

In fact, despite ever-present signs of so-called "green shoots," Americans are facing an ever-growing array of financial concerns that would keep Rip Van Winkle up at night.

First to the numbers.

According to Sentier Research, median U.S. household income fell again in August, by 1.1% (to $50,678).

Sentier says household income is down 5.7% on average from 2009, and has fallen by about 8% since 2008.

The latest numbers may be a result of higher inflation, Sentier reports.

"This latest decline in real median annual household income is indicative of a struggling economy," says Gordon Green, founder of Sentier. "A major contributor to the decline was a 0.6% increase in consumer prices between July and August. Even though we are technically in an economic recovery, real median annual household income is having a difficult time maintaining its present level, much less 'recovering.'"

A separate study from MetLife (MET) says single adults head more U.S. families, which contributes further to household financial decline.

The study reports there is a "proliferation of households headed by single people who are feeling a strain on household finances, leading to stress about meeting living expenses, paying for health care and saving for their later years." Married couples account for 48% of U.S. households, while the number of homes headed by a single parent is four times higher today than in 1960.

But even families with two heads of households have reason to worry. "While couples are better off financially and more prepared to confront financial challenges, the economy is affecting almost everyone and there is a societal need to address what may be a crisis in the coming years as the population ages and these trends continue," says Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, which released the report. "Families are challenged economically, in terms of paying day-to-day expenses and how they're preparing for retirement."

What are their biggest fears? The Met Life study has some answers on that front, as well:

  • Paying living and medical expenses: 53% of U.S. families say they worry about meeting basic living expenses, while 49% are anxious about covering health care expenses.
  • Meeting "external" financial obligations: 39% of American adults are worried about imminent tax increases, due Jan. 1 when the so-called Bush tax cuts expire. 30% are concerned about lower bank savings rates, while 29% fret over reductions in pensions and annuities.
  • Social Security: 54% of survey respondents view the financial health of Social Security and Medicare with heavy skepticism, and fear "changes" in the government programs will reduce their retirement income.
  • Long-term health care: 44% of Americans say they may not have enough to pay for nursing home care in their old age, while 45% say they won't have enough income to pay for health care "as they age."
  • Retirement: 40% of U.S. adults say they are "behind" on their retirement savings, while another 52% have helped adult children out financially, mostly from a job loss.

That's quite a laundry list of concerns for anxious Americans, many of whom face increasing financial headwinds at a time their average income continues to deteriorate.

For those folks, happy days aren't exactly here again.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs