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Sentiment

Positivity and confidence have both decreased since last year. Paying for health care and the cost of living are key areas of concern, but retirement planning remains a relevant financial topic among Americans.

Chart: How you feel about your financial future?

A split down the middle

Half of Americans have a positive outlook for their financial future, but confidence has waned over the past year. Health care and the cost of living are key areas of worry. Unsurprisingly, and across multiple dimensions, retirement readiness is a significant area of investor focus.

Investor confidence has declined

Since August 2016, Americans’ confidence in their saving and investing decisions has dropped over 7%. Less affluent Americans (those with less than $250,000 in investible assets) have seen the sharpest drop. Comparing genders, it appears that women have a notably more negative view toward their financial futures than men.

Chart: Percent making right decisions for their financial futures Chart: Percent with a positive view in their financial future
Chart: Percent making right decisions for their financial futures
Chart: Percent with a positive view in their financial future

Cost of living is a leading concern

The biggest perceived risk to Americans’ financial futures is simply meeting living expenses. However, health care represents a close and quickly rising second. Since our 2015 survey, respondents’ concern about paying for health care has increased 11%.

Chart: Top risks to americans' financial futures

What matters in the media

Though funding health care is a pertinent concern these days, retirement remains the most important financial topic to Americans across a number of measures. It’s the financial topic they’re most focused on in the media and most frequently discuss with their financial advisors.

 

Chart: Stories investors are following in the media Chart: Stories investors are following in the media
Chart: Stories investors are following in the media
Chart: Stories investors are following in the media

 


Take action

For many Americans, the first step to improving financial confidence is to take thoughtful action to better invest. Build knowledge around retirement and college savings, two key areas of concern for many investors.

Explore different ways to save

Explore different ways to save

Get a read on the tools you can use to efficiently grow your retirement nest egg.

Preparing for college?

Preparing for college?

While it’s never too late to put money aside, it’s better to start sooner rather than later.