Financial Resilience in America

Financial resilience is the ability to withstand unexpected, adverse shocks that impact one’s income or assets. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to us once again that economic uncertainties are ubiquitous and often hard to predict. We need to stay vigilant and be prepared for the rainy days.

Various survey data show that many Americans are underprepared for unexpected events such as a health shock or job loss. National surveys conducted independently by the Stanford Center on Longevity and by GFLEC at the George Washington University found that more than 1 in 4 respondents wouldn’t be able to pay for an unexpected $2000 expenses within a month. When misfortunes strike, the underprepared individuals and families are likely to experience substantial economic instability.

In the “Financial Resilience in America” project, researchers at the Stanford Center on Longevity team up with GFLEC to explore the drivers of financial resilience, including cash flow management, debt, risk protection, and financial literacy. In this brief, these critical financial metrics and behaviors are compared across subpopulations of different ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders, educational attainment levels, and occupations.

This research was supported by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. All results, interpretations and conclusions expressed are those of the research team alone, and do not necessarily represent the views of the FINRA Foundation or any of its affiliated companies.