25 Frightening financial facts!

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Our economy seems to be rolling along nicely, with a full recovery from the Great Recession and the stock market hitting record levels. But is all well and good with the economy when it comes to American consumers spending, debt, savings, and retirement?

Here are 25 frightening financial facts to ponder:

1. 52% of Americans are spending more than they earn every month.

2. 21% have regular monthly expenses that exceed their income.

3. In fact, the average American spends $1.33 for every dollar earned.

4. 1 in 4 Americans have more debt than savings.

5. In the last 25 years, the average person’s spending has increased about 30%.

6. Only 50% of Americans even write down or set a monthly budget, yet alone stick to it.

7. Among people who combine their finances for marriage or while in a relationship, 40% admit to committing “financial infidelity!”

8. 35% of all U.S. adults – or about 77 million consumers – have at least one debt in collections, with an average tab of $5,178.

9. The average American household that has debt now owes $132,529, including mortgage, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and other debt.

10. Of these households with debt, they average $16,061 in credit cards and $28,535 in car loans, which leads to higher card utilization rates and lower credit scores

11. But if we looked at all American consumers (not just those with debt), we’d find that they have open six revolving credit reports each, with $8,611 in non-mortgage debt.

12. The average American’s 401(k) balance is $96,288, but that’s not as healthy as it may seem. Consider that in the 25-34 age bracket, the median 401(k) balance is only $8,363; $23,944 for 35-44 year-olds, and $46,200 for 45-54 year-olds.

13. The average American receives a tax refund of $2,860 (70% of Americans get refunds). 79% of them say that they’ll use it to pay down debt (but whether they do or not is another story), but 11% say they’re going to use it to go on vacation, and 5% say they’ll buy a new TV, shopping spree, etc. with the refund.

14. Speaking of taxes, the average American pays an effective federal income tax rate of 13.5%.

15. They also pay 9.9% in state and local income taxes, 3.3% in Social Security taxes, and 1.45% to Medicare.

16. 46% of Americans report having no emergency savings or a “rainy day fund” and couldn’t even pay a $400 expense without borrowing money or selling something.

17. The average personal savings rate in the U.S. is currently 3.8%. While we did hit a recent high point of 5.5% earlier this year, the savings rate fell as low as 1.9% as of 2005 (during the financial boom!)

18. The even more frightening thing about this statistic is that it includes retirement savings as well as savings in bank accounts and cash, etc., and most financial experts recommend saving 10-15% of your income.

19. Americans now owe more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt.

20. To put it in perspective, that’s 44 million borrowers that owe $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt.

21. About 22% of Americans surveyed say that they have had an unexpected medical expense in the last year, which cost them $2,000 to $3,000 out of pocket.

22. Almost 25% of adult Americans surveyed said either they or their spouse purchased or leased a car or truck last year.

23. 13% of the U.S. population is 65 years or older. However, 30% of the U.S. population have 0$ saved for retirement.

24. 7.7% of American adults don’t even have a bank account, and 20% are classified as “underbanked” because they still use services like services like check cashing, money transfers, payday loans, and pawn shops for their financial needs.

25. 41 Million Americans have been the victims of identity theft, and an additional 49 million people know someone who has been the victims of ID theft or fraud.


Look for part two of this blog with 25 more frightening financial facts!


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