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SOURCE COUNTRY Financial
COUNTRY Survey: Recession's Lasting Impact Has Americans Leery of Personal Financial and Overall Economic Future
BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In the late summer and fall of 2008, Americans were just beginning to feel the height of the Great Recession. This period was marked by high profile events including the Fannie May/Freddie Mac takeovers (9/7/08), the collapse of Lehman Brothers (9/15/08), the signing of the first bank bailout (10/1/08), an unemployment rate at a 14-year high (11/7/08) and more. Now five years later, it seems Americans may not believe we are in a recovery, according to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey.
Now and Then
Despite a recovery that economists say began mid-2009, Americans do not feel their personal financial security or the economy overall are any better compared to five years ago.
For an infographic of Americans' sentiments on the recession and recovery by the numbers and a graph mapping the movement of the COUNTRY Financial Security Index over the past five years against national unemployment and debt, visit www.countryfinancialsecurityblog.com.
The Recession's Lasting Impact
When asked about the lasting effects from the Great Recession, despite the housing market crash, a hit to savings is the biggest scar for Americans. Topping the list of lasting effects that still keep Americans up at night are a reduced retirement nest egg (22 percent) and depleted emergency savings (21 percent). By comparison, just 8 percent say reduced home value.
Americans are also experiencing a long-tail recovery. More than two-thirds (68 percent) say the overall state of the economy has caused them to cut back spending to make ends meet, virtually unchanged from November 2008 (67 percent). Another 41 percent say their financial situation is still recovering from the impact of the recession; nearly 1 in 5 (19 percent) say they will never recover.
"Although we are five years out from the height of a devastating financial crisis, the after-effects of the Great Recession are still top-of-mind for Americans. As a result, Americans, personally, may not be on the same page with reports about the state of the recovery," says Troy Frerichs, director of investments-wealth management at COUNTRY Financial. "While we've come a long way, this recovery is by no means complete and we still have ground to make up. The important thing is not to look back, but to adjust to a new reality and redefine what financial security looks like in a perhaps permanently changed financial and economic landscape."
What Lies Ahead
It's clear the recession has left Americans leery of what's in store for the next five years.
"It's not surprising Americans have a cautious outlook on the next five years, given the ongoing impact of the recession," adds Frerichs. "The best way to approach financial uncertainty is to be prepared for anything. Speaking with a knowledgeable professional can help you get a financial plan in place and make sure you're set up for financial security no matter what outside economic factors are at play."
How Has the Recession Affected Your Generation?
18 to 29 Year Olds: Coming of Age in the New Economy
With many Gen Y Americans just entering adulthood, the job market and financial independence five years ago, this age group has been less affected by the recession and are more hopeful about the future than other generations.
30 to 39 Year Olds: Hurt, But Hopeful
Thirty to 39 year olds were not unscathed by the recession, but they are looking ahead with optimism.
40 to 64 Year Olds: Generation X-pecting the Worst and "Boom"-ing with Pessimism
Those ages 40 to 64 seem to be having the hardest time recovering from the recession and are the least optimistic looking ahead.
65+ Year Olds: Social Insecurity
Looking back at the last five years and ahead to the next five, retired Americans are feeling insecure in their financial situation.
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index®
Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans' sentiments of their personal financial security. The COUNTRY Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at www.countryfinancialsecurityblog.com and on Twitter at @FinanceSecure.
The COUNTRY Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm, based on a national telephone and online survey of at least 3,000 Americans.
The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
COUNTRY Financial (www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.
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