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Everyone is afraid of something. For me it is spiders. I had a not-so-fun experience with several of them crawling into my sleeping bag one time and have had occasional nightmares about them since. Lately, we reported that more consumers now fear credit car fraud than terrorism. Now we have some more statistics on financial fears. Recently, the Country Financial Security Index found the top financial fears that Americans share.

Topping the list is a fear that we will not have enough money to retire comfortably. Twenty-eight percent of the Americans polled shared that fear. The older the respondent was, the higher the percentage. The percentage jumped to 41 for people aged 50-64. Surprisingly, among people with a higher education and income level, the number was even higher at 43 percent.

The second scariest thing for Americans, financially, is being able to afford healthcare. Overall, 18 percent of the people polled were afraid they could not afford healthcare. As you might expect, older Americans have a higher level of fear related to healthcare. For people over 65, the percentage jumps to 42.

After those two, there are some interesting statistics, including:

Only six percent of Americans are afraid of their credit card debt. That is good news considering the overwhelming credit card burden many Americans were carrying just eight years ago. It suggests a more financially sound trend in credit card use.

More than 66 percent of the people polled were afraid that their personal information would be stolen at some point. A very real fear that led most people to refuse to reveal their approximate credit score. The very realistic aspects of this fear are a sound reason to check your credit reports every year and to monitor the transactions on all of your accounts at least twice a week.

Surprisingly, nearly 20 percent of the young respondents (under 30) reported fearing the ability to pay their rent. Rent is mentioned specifically, because the number of homeowners in the demographic is falling.

The majority of these fears are related to things that we cannot control, but one startling response to the poll shows a trend that can be controlled and needs to be reversed. Approximately 47 percent of those polled do not track their discretionary spending. Keeping track of and, therefore, control of discretionary spending is a great way to alleviate some of the fears that we have. What better way to ensure the rent is paid than to keep a grip on your spending? How easy would it be to save for medical expenses if you knew where all of your money was going?

 

About the author: Jerry Coffey

 

Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.

 

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