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More than 20 percent of people in the United States are economically insecure, according to the Economic Security Index. Naturally, a growing number of people experienced financially insecurity with the recent recession. Sadly, it can take families 6 to 8 years to recover from a major income drop.
The most vulnerable age groups for economic insecurity included the 18 to 34 and the 45 to 64-year-olds. My husband and I are in between the two age categories.
We have noticed how our teenagers and our older friends struggle to find work. In the case of our older friends, the job loss was related to layoffs. With our sons, it was a matter of just finding that first job. Economic insecurity, according to index created by Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker, is based on major loss of income of 25 percent or more, out-of-pocket medical expenses and lack of savings.
Guarding against income loss
Although my sons have never experienced a major loss of income, they are learning how to compete in the job market. The recession has given my teens a strong work ethic. They work hard so they won't lose their jobs. They also study hard in college so they can find jobs in stable fields.
Landing a job with medical benefits
My son had to go to the walk-in clinic several times due to sore throats. He found out how expensive it would be to be treated without a medical insurance card. The walk-in clinic has a pay-on-your own "menu" where it listed the prices for various medical treatments. My son understands the importance of landing a good job with medical benefits.
Having a 10-year savings plan
According to Ramit Sethi, the author of "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," 50.6 percent of people in their 20s who were surveyed wished they had saved money to travel. Meanwhile, people in their 30s wished they had saved for a house in the past 10 years. People in their 40s wished they would have saved for retirement in the previous decade. Although saving money for travel isn't the same as saving for an emergency, it does improve a person's quality of life if all the basics are under control.
My 18-year-old son is already finding out how much he enjoys traveling. He went to Chicago over the summer, and spent New Year's on Tybee Island in Georgia. By setting up special savings accounts for travel, a house, emergency fund and retirement, he will be completely secure about his future.
Economic insecurity has reached its highest in 25 years, according to researchers. We are poverty-proofing our sons by helping them get through college. Researchers say those without a high school education are 40 percent more likely to experience economic insecurity compared to college graduates.