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FINANCIAL SECURITY

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Financial resources are essential in order to live longer and better lives. Despite recovery in jobs, stock and real estate markets since the Great Recession, more Americans in the 21st century are struggling to achieve financial security. With longer life expectancies come more opportunities, but also more risks. As people add more years to their retirement, there is inadequate time to amass income and savings for a longer retirement. In the words of Stanford University Professor of Economics John Shoven, “Few workers can fund a 30-year retirement with a 40-year career.” This added pressure on finances makes it all the more critical that we maximize earnings, invest wisely and protect our assets from catastrophic events. The financial security index shown below summarizes nine metrics characterizing three key paths to financial well-being: healthy cash flow, asset investments and protection.

SPOTLIGHT ON:

HOME OWNERSHIP

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Explore the data on home ownership in the US. Learn more

IN THE NEWS

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FINANCIAL SECURITY INDEX

Included in the Index



1. Threshold income (200% of the federal poverty level)

2. Emergency resources (proportion who have access to 3000 dollars, all liquid sources)

3. Uncollaterized debt less than 20% of the household’s income

4. Homeownership

5. Retirement plan participation (individuals who live in households with an IRA and/or workplace-based retirement account)

6. Investments (proportion of individuals in households with any type of investment account)

7. Health insurance

8. Life Insurance

9. Long-term disability/care


NOTABLE FINDINGS

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  • A 15-year decline in health insurance coverage among the least educated is reversing since implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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  • Income levels of Millennials without any college education are often at or near poverty levels.

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  • Millennials with college degrees are 50% more likely to carry debt, which is 5 times higher on average than recent college grads 15 years ago.

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  • Only one in three Americans have any established retirement savings plans before age 55.

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