State and Nation Business

Fed: Quarter of households ‘just getting by’

WASHINGTON – A quarter of U.S. households say they’re “just getting by” financially, a survey by the Federal Reserve shows.

The Fed issued the first-time report Thursday, describing it as a snapshot of how Americans perceive their financial and economic well-being. The survey of about 4,100 households was conducted from Sept. 17 through Oct. 4, 2013.

Thirteen percent said they were struggling to get by, and 34 percent reported they were somewhat worse off or much worse off than before the Great Recession hit in 2008.

Other findings: a third of those who had applied for credit in the previous 12 months said they were turned down or given less than they requested, and 24 percent had some type of education debt.

Thirty-one percent of people who aren’t retired said they had no retirement savings or pension, including 19 percent of those age 55 to 64. Nearly half of adults weren’t actively thinking about financial planning for retirement, with 25 percent saying they had done no planning at all.

Twenty-six percent of homeowners said they expected prices in their neighborhood to increase by as much as 5 percent in the 12 months following the survey period.

As the economic recovery enters its sixth year, a number of factors help explain why many Americans don’t feel better off: Income hasn’t rebounded. Millions are working part time even though they want full-time jobs. It’s taking longer to find work. People are still struggling with mortgage debt. Most people don’t feel free to spend as much as they once did.

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.