New Survey Finds Many Families Struggle to Make Ends Meet

July 27, 2012

By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager

The recent recession has left many American families struggling to make ends meet and to save for the future, according to a 60-page report released this week by Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). At the same time, the survey shows that those who have prepared a personal financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings, and investments than those who have not.

  • Nearly two-fifths (38%) of the 1,508 household financial decision-makers surveyed said they live paycheck to paycheck.
  • Less than one-third (30%) indicated they felt comfortable financially.
  • Only about one-third (34%) think they can afford to retire by age 65.
  • Only 31 percent of respondents said they had a comprehensive financial plan, while about two-thirds (65%) indicated they follow a plan for at least one of their savings goals.

“Our survey clearly shows that having a personal financial plan helps both rich and poor achieve their financial goals," said Stephen Brobeck, CFA's Executive Director. "Having a financial plan increases one's confidence and effectiveness in managing, borrowing and saving money."

Both CFA and CFP Board recommend that consumers start by assessing their own financial condition and develop a plan. One useful tool is the website LetsMakeaPlan.org, where interested consumers can learn more about preparing a financial plan, including working with a Certified Financial Planner™ professional.

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