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Americans Still Feeling Financial Sting Ten Years After 2007 Crisis

July 2017

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U.S. insurer Country Financial in July 2017 published its tenth Country Financial Security Index survey. Ten years after the beginning of the 2007 financial crisis known as the Great Recession, nearly 30% of Americans believe they have yet to recover financially or that they never will, despite signals from the Federal Reserve that the U.S. economy is growing.

The survey reveals that this is due in large part to the perception that financial recovery has not been uniformly felt by all Americans, especially women, African Americans, and those earning less than $50,000: Compared to 55 % of all Americans, only 49 % of women, 43 % of African Americans and 42 % of those making under $50,000 say they are better off now than they were before the recession.

A quarter of the women surveyed, 26% of African Americans and 37% of those making under $30,000 per year do not think they could still keep up with their bills within a month of being out of work.

64% believe that while they have fully recovered financially, it has been a long road. More than half of all Americans (57%) report they needed three years or more to fully financially recover.

And while Americans show uncertainty about the current state of the economy under the new administration, 72 % of respondents say the president has only some, if not no, impact on one’s financial security. Some notable statistics include:

  • 42 % believe the U.S. economy has not fully recovered since the financial crisis
  • 39% are split on whether the country is headed towards another recession in a few years or if it will continue to grow (31%)
  • Americans are almost equally divided when it comes to the future of their investments under President Trump, with 34% who believe they will do better, 31% believe they will fare worse, and 35% are not sure or think there will be no difference

While the 2007 recession was largely precipitated by the housing collapse, when asked which economic factors currently need to be improved in order to feel secure, the top response was the job market (34%) more so than the housing market (20%).

One bright spot is that the study revealed an overwhelming sense of self-reliance as Americans believe their financial security and recovery is in their hands.

The majority of respondents believe they personally have the greatest impact on their financial security (63%), compared to their company (9%) or the President (7%). Regardless of demographic, Americans had similar personal strategies to get through the recession, with lasting effects of those financial lessons continuing today.

Americans are also showing more prudent financial choices and a cautious attitude towards their money, with only 6% saying they have increased their spending in today’s economy, compared to the 89% who cut back or kept daily spending levels the same.

The survey was conducted using an online research panel designed to be representative of the general population and includes responses from 1,000 U.S. adults over the age of 18.

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