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Americans Say They Need to Earn $128,000 to Feel Financially OK

By Suzanne Woolley

 Feeling financially healthy means pulling down a six-figure salary, according to a survey by Personal Capital and Harris Poll.

The average amount American adults said they’d need to earn to feel in good financial shape was $128,000, the survey showed. That’s far from the median U.S. household income in 2020 of $67,521, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

The survey of more than 2,000 people found Americans with “a dwindling sense of financial confidence.” In 2021’s final quarter, 34% of respondents said they felt financially healthy, compared with 48% in early 2021.

Pandemic aid programs that wound down last year likely stripped away some financial comfort, but higher prices also play a part. 

“With rising inflation eating up some of the reported wage gains from 2021, Americans also say that the top barriers to financial health are not getting paid enough and constantly increasing expenses,” the survey said. Of those surveyed, 30% agreed that “expenses are constantly piling on,” a jump from 23% who agreed with that in 2021’s first quarter. 

Nearly half of those surveyed said that their debt is “unmanageable,” and 37% said a surprise $100 expense would make them anxious. 

In a sign of the times, while the leading financial topic respondents said they wanted to learn more about was retirement planning, it was followed by cryptocurrency and “concern over the security of my financial accounts.”

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