Millions of Americans are just one paycheck away from ‘financial disaster’

May 18, 2019 in News by Slad

Source: www.marketwatch.com
By Jacob Passy

Missing more than one paycheck is a one-way ticket to financial hardship for nearly half of the country’s workforce.

A new study from NORC at the University of Chicago, an independent social research institution, found that 51% of working adults in the United States would need to access savings to cover necessities if they missed more than one paycheck.

Research from the Federal Reserve found that 4 in 10 Americans couldn’t afford a $400 emergency, and 22% say they expect to forgo payments on some of their bills.

Certain communities were more prone to economic hardship in the event of missing a paycheck. Roughly two-thirds of households earning less than $30,000 annually and Hispanic households would be unable to cover basic living expenses after missing more than one paycheck, the researchers found.

“Even so, notable differences remain across race, ethnicity, education groups, and locations and many individuals still struggle to repay college loans, handle small emergency expenses, and manage retirement savings,” it added.

The findings were based on a survey of more than 1,000 adults. The researchers interviewed a nationally representative panel designed to be indicative of the U.S. population.

The survey provides a sobering look at Americans’ precarious finances even as the economy is improving, jobs are more plentiful and the stock market has — despite this week’s volatility — generally continued its upward trajectory this year.

 Prosperity Now says too many families are either struggling to make ends meet, ‘or are just one emergency away from a financial disaster.’

Prosperity Now, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on expanding economic opportunity for low-income Americans, said 40% of U.S. households lack a basic level of savings.

These “liquid asset poor” households don’t even have enough savings to live at the poverty level for three months if their income was interrupted.

The data is even worse for people of color, with more than half of households of color (57%) being liquid asset poor, it found.

“The 2019 Prosperity Now Scorecard shows that too many families are either struggling to make ends meet, or are just one emergency away from a financial disaster,” it said.

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