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New Report: Almost Half of Americans Earning $100K Live Paycheck to Paycheck

A salary of $100,000 or more doesn’t necessarily guarantee financial freedom these days. More than half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, found a new study by LendingClub Corporation and PYMNTS.com. Of those Americans making more than $100,000, nearly half from that group were living paycheck to paycheck as well.

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The study is the seventh edition of LendingClub Corporation and PYMNTS.com’s Reality Check: Paycheck-To-Paycheck research series.

Among survey respondents earning more than 100,000, 48 percent said they were living paycheck to paycheck. That’s up from 42 percent in December 2021.

In fact, the number of those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 who are living paycheck to paycheck is increasing.   

In May 2021, 53 percent of earners in this financial bracket were living paycheck to paycheck, compared to 67 percent in January 2022, The Hill reported. Sixty-four percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck as of January 2022 across all income brackets.

“With inflation up 7.5 percent in the last 12 months, consumers of all income brackets are struggling to find a way to make ends meet,” Anuj Nayar, financial health officer at LendingClub, said in a press release.

According to the study, there were two main categories: those living paycheck to paycheck comfortably, and those who were in the same earning and spending situation, but not living comfortably, ABC15 reported.

The report states that “As the pandemic continued to weigh on the economy in the early months of 2022, the United States government reported that inflation climbed to 7.5% over the past 12 months. Both the pandemic and inflation are making it harder for consumers in all income brackets to make ends meet.”

Also, more than 50 percent of people earning $50,000 to $100,000 per year and more than $100,000 per year, respectively, would be able to pay for an emergency costing $400 using savings. Only 38.5 percent of those earning less than $50,000 would be able to do so.  

Among those earning more than $100,000, 23 percent living paycheck to paycheck would not be able to pay a $400 emergency expense. And, 38 percent of those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 said the same.    

Read: “Are People Running Out of Money? More Americans Report Having Trouble Paying Basic Bills”

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