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41% of People Say American Dream Is Lost; 63% Say Economy Getting Worse: Y! Finance Survey

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A new survey by Yahoo! Finance shows Americans have a disturbing lack of hope and a frightening lack of retirement planning.

Among the highlights of the poll:

-- 41% of Americans say the 'American Dream' has been lost.

-- 37% of adults have NO retirement savings and 38% plan to live off Social Security.

-- 63% of Americans believe the economy is getting worse, including 72% of those over the age of 55.

These findings are consistent with broader trends The Daily Ticker has reported on in the past year: Despite macro data showing the economy has technically recovered from the 'Great Recession', the majority of Americans just aren't feeling it. Considering 49 million Americans are living in poverty, the "real" unemployment rate is 16% and millions of Americans are facing foreclosure, it's no wonder many believe the recession never ended.

Consistent with that sentiment, the survey shows a plurality of Americans are less willing to take on debt, feel less confident about buying at house, and are spending less yet have lower savings vs. 1- and 3-years ago.

Dan Gross and I discuss the survey in the accompanying video. As is his wont, Dan focused on the glass half-full findings in the survey, including:

-- 53% of Americans ages 18-34 still see America as the land of opportunity.

-- 45% of parents believe their kids will be better off than they are.

-- 68% of Americans say their currency financial situation is either "excellent" or "satisfactory."

Here too, the survey is consistent with trends we've reported on: In an era of rising income inequality, those doing well in America today are doing quite well, indeed.

Conducted in September, the survey polled 1500 Americans between the ages of 18 to 64. Yahoo! Finance partnered with Ipsos OTX MediaCT to conduct the survey. It's less scientific but, as always, we welcome your feedback: Let us know what you think.

Aaron Task is the host of The Daily Ticker. You can follow him on Twitter at @aarontask or email him at altask@yahoo.com

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