Several months ago a neighbor in her mid-sixties lost her husband due to a heart attack. Even worse than dealing with the unexpected loss and heartbreak of losing her life partner, is her torment with stress and anxiety because of her debt and lack of resources. Unfortunately, she’s not alone. A recent article by CNN Money confirms that most Americans as are deeply worried about their financial future. According to CNN Money, “The Great Recession may be over, but a Great Insecurity seems to have emerged in its wake.” What’s going on here and what can we do? Perhaps a focus on simple living is the way to eliminate the anxiety and stress that so many feel today.
The Good News & The Bad News
On one level many of us are feeling better about the economy and the direction it is headed. CNN Money confirms that with their recent national survey. Over three-quarters of those surveyed felt that their money situation had stabilized or improved compared to a year ago. Also according to the survey, “Almost nine out of 10 expect that their finances will be the same or better 12 months from now.” This is a big improvement from their last survey in 2009.
Also, according to CCN Money, many stock portfolios have recovered and many home and property prices are returning to pre-crash pricing. Unemployment levels are also gradually coming back down.
But that’s where the good news seemed stuck. Of particular concern was long-term economic security. Specifically, six out of 10 were worried about retirement, family emergencies, and how to pay for health care. They also stressed about whether Social Security and Medicare will even be there when they need them. More than half admitted to living paycheck to paycheck with 60% saying they had no savings in case of emergencies. And it didn’t seem to matter what the age was of those concerned—everyone seemed anxious.