A Life Preserver to Save You from Drowning in a Sea of Debt
We each need to take that step into responsible financial management, not just for our own sakes, but for the potential impact it can have on our country’s economy, as a whole.
Today’s finances and the economy are the major cause of stress in our society more than ever before. According to a Louis Harris poll, 96% of the people who lay awake at night are worrying about either their health or their finances. This type of stress can be a major cause of every chronic disease including diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.
The documentary I.O.U.S.A. www.iousathemovie.com points out that American’s actual debt is approaching $56 trillion, when you account for the unsecured liabilities of Social Security (due to be depleted by 2037), Medicare (due to be depleted by 2017), and Medicaid. It also points out that our per capita personal savings is at its lowest rate since the great depression (-2.9%). A negative savings rate indicates that Americans, especially those people born during the baby boom and beyond, routinely spend all of their disposable income, dip into any past savings for discretionary items, and borrow money from the bank in the form of credit cards and loans. This downward spiral drives people into further debt with an increased interest load.
But there is hope for a new generation. A 2009 survey done by Lieberman Research World, published by Charles Schwab indicated that the majority of young adults between the ages of 23 and 28 think that making better choices about managing money the single most important issue for individual Americans today. The largest percentage of survey respondents say they were surprised to learn how much money it takes to live independently as they begin to live on their own. Only 50% are financially independent from their parents, 25% still live with their parents—some because they are still unemployed—while others who can’t afford to live on their own and save money at the same time.
Unfortunately, there are very few financial security measures we can rely on any more. We cannot trust the same rules that used to apply to real estate, the stock market, the banks, investments or even our government security programs because we have allowed both personal and national debt to get out of control. We each need to take that step into responsible financial management, not just for our own sakes, but for the potential impact it can have on our country’s economy, as a whole.
We must take personal responsibility for our financial well being. No one else will do it for us.
1. Get healthy to avoid medical bills – the #1 cause of bankruptcy,
3. Get involved – find your passion for making a better society and volunteer to contribute to it.
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