According to a recent survey by the Washington-based Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP), Americans anticipate that the national economy will be more likely to improve than decline during the next six months. However, as Bloomberg reports, the CFP study also shows that the majority of Americans do not have as much faith that their personal finances will improve. Developing a savings, financing college and preparing for retirement are all areas of great concern.
Personal finances don’t light up the headlines like recession busting
The CFP survey results indicate that 44 percent of respondents expect an upturn in the U.S. economy before their own personal finances, compared with 28 percent who believe a “double dip” recession will occur. CFP chair Robert Glovsky told Bloomberg that “Americans are generally hopeful, and much of the economic news leads us to conclude that we are out of the recession, and a double dip is unlikely.”
However, that hope largely does not extend into the arena of personal finance. Consumer confidence may be up while the declared unemployment rate was down .2 percentage points from May 2010 to June 2010 (it was 9.5 percent in June), but the CFP survey indicates that nearly two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) indicate that their worries over basic matters of long-term personal finance have grown significantly since the beginning of the recession. Many consumers believe they need cash now, but are frequently ineligible for a bank loan due to the still-tight credit market. Relying upon a bad credit personal loan is an alternative, but not one that has inspired consumers to view their financial futures in the most positive manner.
Worrying about the big three
The CFP survey, which was conducted via telephone by market research firm Penn Schoen Berland, found that the vast majority of the 1,000-member sample group of consumers ages 18 and older were afraid they wouldn’t be able to maintain sufficient savings, pay for college or have enough money put away for retirement. Adding to the worries surrounding their personal finances, 80 percent of respondents felt that Congress and federal regulators hadn’t taken an active enough role in pushing legislation to regulate financial markets. However, various media sources indicate a reform bill may pass through Congress soon.
How the Dodd-Frank bill would reform Wall Street: