Financial Stress and the Average American

As a financial coach and former retirement planner, I’m very much acquainted with the financial challenges hard-working people face on a day-to-day basis. Even before the pandemic hit, the average American family struggled with their finances. Now, after several months of no household income, the financial future is even more precarious.

According to a Northwest Mutual study (2016), 85% of Americans suffer from some form of financial anxiety. The top three causes were cited as:

1-Never being able to retire
2-Living paycheck to paycheck
3-Living in debt forever


Debt and the Average American

  • The average consumer credit card debt is $16,425. (NerdWallet, 2017)
  • The average credit card rate is 16.14% (, 2017)
  • Total consumer debt in the U.S. is $12.73 Trillion (NerdWallet, 2017, Federal Reserve Q1 Data)


Financial Reality for Americans

  • The average household income is $59,039. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017)
  • 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. (Career Builder, 2017)
  • 7 out of 10 couples do not budget consistently (FPU Member Survey, 2017)
  • Approximately 66% of Americans would struggle to pay for an $1,000 emergency. (Career Builder, 2017)


Several months into the pandemic, these numbers have increased dramatically and we need a real solution to remedy the extreme financial problems so many people are challenged with today.

In my opinion, regulators governing the financial services and banking industries had an opportunity to serve the American people by promoting financial literacy alongside financial products and services. Instead, they have allowed institutions to take advantage of the average hard-working American by charging exorbitant rates.

The dire condition of personal finances in America and across the globe causes me a great deal of concern. I know what it’s like to be stressed out about finances. I know the problems it can create for your emotional and physical health. Financial stress is the most grueling stress anyone can ever endure.

That’s why I committed to the Ultimate Blogging Challenge for the month of July. Throughout the month, I want to speak out about the financial reality of the average person. In particular, the financial reality of women in retirement.

The numbers are there. The numbers don’t lie. We need to look at the numbers and think proactively about how we are going to be part of the solution.

Don’t take my word for it, check out theses books, and read up on the systemic deception commonplace in Wall Street and the big banks.

Pirates of Manhattan by Barry James Dyke
The Bank on Yourself Revolution by Pamela Yellen
Baby Boomer Women: Secure Futures or Not by Paul Hodge
Who Stole My Pension by Robert Kiyosaki and Edward Siedle
Retirement Money Wave by Steve Burton

When it comes to personal finance, knowledge is power. Protect your financial future, arm yourself with knowledge!


The hyperlinks in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will receive a paltry affiliate fee if you purchase through my link. 

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