Despite continued economic uncertainty, stock market volatility, and the recent downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, employees are still positioning themselves for their personal financial recovery and it is showing as financial stress levels continue to trend downward. Employees continued to show improvements in their ability to manage cash flow, indicated they are paying bills on time in greater numbers, reported increased emergency savings, and are also displaying higher rates of paying off credit card balances in full. As a result of improvements in managing day-to-day finances, employees have been able to shift their focus to longer term financial planning issues such as retirement planning.
For the year:
- 19% of employees reported “high” or “overwhelming” levels of stress compared to 32% in 2010 and 33% in 2009.
- 14% of all questions were debt-related, compared to 16% in 2010 and 21% in 2009.
- 62% of all questions were related to long-term planning issues, compared to 55% in 2010 and 43% in 2009.
- Retirement preparedness remains unchanged from 2010 as only 17% of employees indicated they are on track to replace 80% of their current income (or their own goal).