Some sobering economic data to jumpstart the week paints a picture of a lot of individuals who are having a difficult time making ends meet, which provides context for collection agencies reaching out to those individuals and the potential for more business on the horizon.
Much has been made of the robust economy, with low unemployment rates and high stock market gains. But 40% of individuals living in the United States are having problems paying their bills and are struggling financially, according to a published report. Those 40% have not benefitted from the improving economy and are facing stalled wage growth in the face of rising expenses. To make ends meet, especially in the face of unexpected emergencies, more individuals are borrowing, but having problems repaying that debt.
“So many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck,” said Signe-Mary McKernan, vice president of the Center on Labor, Human Services and Population at the Urban Institute. “We are headed toward a political crisis, if not an economic one.”
Meanwhile, a newly released poll reveals that 23% of Americans will never be in a position to retire and will work until they die.
Another 25% of those surveyed said they will work beyond their 65th birthday.
Only 14% of individuals under the age of 50 say they feel extremely or very prepared for retirement, and 56% of younger Americans said they are not prepared for the day when they can stop working.
“The average retirement age that we see in the data has gone up a little bit, but it hasn’t gone up that much,” says Anqi Chen, assistant director of savings research at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. “So people have to live in retirement much longer, and they may not have enough assets to support themselves in retirement.”