Financial Security Index survey chart

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How do you feel about the amount of debt you have compared to 12 months ago?

  • Some 30 percent of high earners who make more than $75,000 are more comfortable with debt than a year ago, compared to 16 percent of low earners who make less than $30,000.
  • Twenty percent of college grads are less comfortable with debt, compared to 26 percent of those with a high school education or less.
  • Among retirees, 14 percent are more comfortable with debt than last year, while 25 percent are less so.

Everyone who knows someone who lost their job got their debt in order.

Julie Murphy Casserly, CFP

President of JMC Wealth Management, Chicago

It's as though everyone who knows someone who lost their job got their debt in order. But for many, they are not doing anything different than corporations right now: They would rather sit on cash because who knows what will happen with the credit market? While people have been paying off debt, they built up reserve money at the same time. Now they're not willing to give up that reserve money at all to pay off debt because if the credit market goes south and they've paid off debt, they have no cash or credit. But financially, it makes no sense to have money in savings that is earning less than you're paying out in interest.

Financial fix-its

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Financial Security Index