In its new Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, the Federal Reserve Board provides insight into numerous topics of current relevance to household finances. These topics include housing and living arrangements, credit access and behavior, education and student loan debt, savings, retirement and health expenses.
What 24/7 Wall St. is talking out of this report the most is that, considering the effects of the Great Recession, some 34% of respondents reported that they were "somewhat worse off" or "much worse off" financially than they had been in 2008. Another 34% reported that they were the same.
The long and short of the matter is that this survey from the Federal Reserve paints a dismal picture. 24/7 Wall St. would be quick to point out that this data is widespread in that it is from 4,100 respondents that actually completed the survey. Still, there is a serious look back on the period it was collected. Data collection began September 17, 2013, and concluded on October 4, 2013.
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In the survey, households reported 60% as "doing okay" or "living comfortably" financially. Another 25% were described as "just getting by" and another 13% were struggling to do so.
Those with outstanding student loans were more likely to report cutting back on spending to make loan payments. They were also more likely to say that the costs of the education outweighed any financial benefits they received from the education.
Some other key statistics from the survey were as follows:
- 31% of survey respondents had applied for credit in the prior 12 months, 33% who applied were turned down or given less credit than applied for.
- As of September 2013, education debt of some kind was held by 24% of the population.
- 31% of non-retired respondents reported having no retirement savings or pension, including 19% of those ages 55 to 64.
- The Great Recession pushed back the planned date of retirement for 40% of those ages 45 and over who had not yet retired.
FULL FED SUMMARY