Tough times: 7 in 10 Americans say they now live paycheck to paycheck


NEW YORK ( – In these difficult financial times, a new study reveals that it is increasingly difficult for people to save some of their money. In fact, seven out of 10 Americans say they live paycheck to paycheck.

A recent survey of 2,007 adults found that 63% do not see themselves achieving a level of financial security that will allow them to live the lifestyle they want.

Lack of education and financial resources may be to blame, especially for women, who were less likely to say they had access to these tools compared to men (65% vs. 84%).

What does financial comfort really look like?

To learn about the path to financial comfort, most turn to social media (45%), family (44%) or online media such as financial news websites (42%).

Conducted on November 22, 2021 by OnePoll on behalf of AmeriLife, the survey also explored the necessities for financial peace of mind among different groups.

While most women rated the absence of credit card debt (59%) as the most important condition for financial comfort, the majority of men thought it was home ownership (58% ).

Saving is the key to financial stability

Respondents also differed in what they considered essential to financial well-being. Seventy-nine percent of Americans earning more than $150,000 found a “very” large savings account, compared to just 54% of those earning between $60,000 and $89,999.

On average, respondents estimate that they would need $686 of disposable income per month to feel financially secure.

When it comes to retirement, the average American plans to start thinking about it at age 40. However, seven out of 10 admit that their understanding of personal financial comfort has constantly changed after reaching adulthood.

“Things don’t always go as planned; regardless of your income, having a budget is key, said Denny Southern, president of annuities and retirement planning for AmeriLife, in a statement. “If possible, a person should have six months of expenses readily available in savings. Once they have achieved this, they can then target 30% of their income to whatever they want and the remaining 20% ​​to their savings. The earlier a person can do this, the closer it will lead to a comfortable retirement.

Overcome Financial Obstacles

Seventy-six percent of millennials are likely to say that at some point in their adult lives, a personal healthcare bill caused them to spend a large portion of their savings. They also noted that coping with healthcare bills prevented them from making other payments (70%), more than any other age group.

For most millennial respondents, that sacrifice took the form of a down payment or mortgage on a home (57% and 56%).

Regardless of their age, the vast majority of Americans (82%) believe that financial comfort is important for their mental and emotional well-being.

“It’s important to know how to offset the costs of planned and unplanned events,” adds Frank Tebyani, president of career agency distribution for AmeriLife. “It is not surprising to note, however and unfortunately, that only three in 10 respondents use financial advisors as a resource to educate themselves in order to achieve financial comfort.”


  • No credit card debt (57%)
  • Good credit rating (54%)
  • Home ownership (53%)
  • Residual/incidental income (52%)
  • Savings account/bad weather fund (52%)
  • Being able to retire (51%)

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