What do professors, real estate agents, farmers, business executives, computer programmers and store clerks have in common?
They’re not immune to the harsh reality of living paycheck to paycheck, according to dozens of people who responded to a Washington Post inquiry on Twitter.
They’re millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. They work in big cities and rural towns. They’ve tried to save — but rent, child care, student loans and medical bills get in the way.
National data on the paycheck-to-paycheck experience is flimsy, but a recent report from the Federal Reserve spotlights the prevalence of extra-tight budgets: Four in 10 adults say they couldn’t produce $400 in an emergency without sliding into debt or selling something, according to the 2017 figures.
It seems to me that since the financial crisis 10 years ago, the stock market has rebounded incredibly well but the average American has not seen that same financial growth. Many jobs that were historically full-time with benefits are now adjusted to part-time or contracted out. That places additional responsibility and stress on hard working, loyal employees. Each of us are now required to play by a new set of rules and adapt to a new employment environment that we were not trained for nor expected to previously.
That means most of us now have to understand retirement accounts and the pros and cons of an IRA, ROTH IRA, 401K, 403B and so on. We have to understand our options and make decisions on insurance plans. Not just health but life and disability on top of home, auto, ect. Then there is the need for an emergency fund created for life’s unexpected events. I could go on but you get the point.
We typically were not taught in high school to be prepared for the responsibilities and obligations of a successful financial plan. I know my parents didn’t educate me either. Did your parents? It feels like to me in the game of life, someone changed the rules and there is no rule book provided to help you. That is why Americans are struggling in all generations and employment fields.
But with a financial coach to work with, you can do it! Seeking help is the first step. You just need to put a line in the sand and say that my journey to financial freedom starts NOW.