March 27, 2019 - 75% Of Americans Optimistic About Financial Future, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Economic News Does Not Reflect Real World, They Say 2-1 Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
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With agreement across all age groups, 75 percent of Americans are optimistic about their financial future, as 19 percent are pessimistic, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. Optimism ranges from 69 percent among Americans over 65 years old to 82 percent among those 35 to 49 years old.

There are small gender and racial gaps, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University National Poll finds:
  • 79 percent of men are optimistic, compared to 71 percent of women;
  • 77 percent of whites are optimistic, compared to 69 percent of blacks and 75 percent of Hispanics;
  • 82 percent of whites with a college degree are optimistic, compared to 74 percent of those without a degree.
Only 50 percent of Americans, however, think they will have enough savings when they retire to live comfortably. This includes 63 percent of people 18 to 34 years old.

There is a gender gap as 54 percent of men and 46 percent of women expect to have enough money to retire in comfort.

While 69 percent of Americans say they can afford to play an unexpected $500 bill, 29 percent say they can't afford that emergency.

"This high level of optimism reflects the constant economic growth and decreasing levels of unemployment over the last decade. It also shows, however, the lack of savings, especially for retirement," said Osman Kilic, PhD, chair of the Department of Finance at the School of Business at Quinnipiac University.

Americans say 45 - 32 percent they think Social Security will be able to pay a benefit once they are eligible. Confidence in Social Security ranges from 35 percent among those 35 to 49 years old to 62 percent among those 50 to 64 years old.

"Even though almost half of Americans are still expecting Social Security to make payments, Gen X's and Millennial's confidence in the viability of the Social Security system drops substantially compared to those 50 to 64 years old," Dr. Kilic said.

Economic Reporting

The way economic news is reported does not accurately reflect the reality of the economy for average Americans, adults say 60 - 27 percent. Skepticism about financial reporting is consistent among every listed party, gender, education, age and racial group.

For example, only 32 percent of white Americans with a college degree think economic news reflects their reality, compared to 33 percent of those without a degree.

While 60 percent of Americans, including 41 percent of those 18 to 34 years old say they have some retirement savings, only 28 percent say they rely on a financial advisor or retirement fund administrator to make most or all of their investment decisions.

Student Loans

Some 22 percent say student loans have prevented them from making major purchases, such as a house or car.

And 17 percent of Americans regret taking on student loans to get a degree, while 28 percent do not regret it.

From March 21 - 25, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,590 adults nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points, including the design effect.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts gold standard surveys using random digit dialing with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones. The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts nationwide surveys and polls in more than a dozen states on national and statewide elections, as well as public policy issues.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

35. (Adults) In general, would you say that you are optimistic or pessimistic about your financial future?
                     ADULTS.....................................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Optimistic           75%    87%    67%    77%    79%    71%    82%    74%
Pessimistic          19      9     27     18     15     22     15     19
DK/NA                 6      5      7      5      6      7      3      6
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Optimistic           73%    82%    76%    69%    81%    74%    77%    69%    75%
Pessimistic          20     14     21     21     15     20     18     25     16
DK/NA                 7      4      4     10      4      6      5      6      9
 
 
36. (Adults) Would you be able to afford an unexpected bill or expense of $500, or not?
                     ADULTS.....................................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Afford           69%    81%    66%    70%    74%    64%    88%    71%
No                   29     17     32     28     22     35     11     27
DK/NA                 2      2      2      3      4      1      1      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes/Afford           65%    69%    74%    72%    86%    71%    78%    44%    56%
No                   35     29     25     25     13     28     20     52     42
DK/NA                 1      2      1      3      1      1      1      4      2
 
 
37. (Adults) Do you think that the way that economic news is reported accurately reflects the reality of the economy for average Americans, or don't you think so?
                     ADULTS.....................................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Reflects reality 27%    38%    23%    26%    26%    28%    32%    33%
No                   60     52     64     61     61     60     55     57
DK/NA                12     10     13     12     13     12     13     10
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes/Reflects reality 20%    29%    30%    30%    31%    33%    32%    18%    17%
No                   65     62     61     55     57     55     56     71     69
DK/NA                14      9      9     14     11     12     11     11     14
 
 
38. (Adults) If you have student loans, would you say that your student loans have prevented you from making large purchases, such as a house or a car, or wouldn't you say that?
                     ADULTS.....................................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Have prevented   22%    17%    27%    22%    22%    22%    18%    15%
No                   22     24     18     22     24     19     29     16
NO STDNT LOANS(VOL)  54     58     51     52     50     57     51     66
DK/NA                 3      1      3      4      3      2      2      3
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes/Have prevented   39%    19%    17%    11%    16%    17%    16%    36%    30%
No                   21     30     21     14     24     19     21     19     24
NO STDNT LOANS(VOL)  40     48     61     70     57     62     59     44     43
DK/NA                 1      3      1      6      3      3      3      2      3
 
 
39. (Adults) If you have student loans, would you say that you regret taking on those loans to get your degree or degrees, or wouldn't you say that?
                     ADULTS.....................................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Regret           17%    12%    17%    19%    16%    17%    12%    12%
No                   28     29     28     28     31     24     36     21
NO STDNT LOANS(VOL)  54     58     51     52     50     57     51     66
DK/NA                 2      1      3      2      2      2      1      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes/Regret           26%    20%    13%     8%    12%    12%    12%    31%    23%
No                   34     31     25     18     29     25     27     24     31
NO STDNT LOANS(VOL)  40     48     61     70     57     62     59     44     43
DK/NA                 -      2      1      4      1      1      1      -      4
 
 
40. (Adults) Do you currently have any retirement savings, or not?
                     ADULTS.....................................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  60%    76%    61%    57%    62%    59%    87%    56%
No                   37     22     36     41     35     39     11     41
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      3      2      2      3
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  41%    66%    68%    71%    72%    66%    69%    53%    36%
No                   59     34     30     23     26     31     28     45     63
DK/NA                 1      -      2      6      2      3      3      2      1
 
 
41. (Adults) Do you think that you will have enough savings by the time you retire to live comfortably, or don't you think so?
                     ADULTS.....................................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  50%    63%    45%    51%    54%    46%    65%    47%
No                   33     23     40     32     30     36     21     32
ALRDY RETIRED(VOL)    8      8      9      9      7     10      8     13
DK/NA                 8      6      6      9      9      7      5      8
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  63%    49%    47%    40%    59%    50%    54%    40%    47%
No                   29     44     40     20     24     30     27     46     46
ALRDY RETIRED(VOL)    -      -      5     34      8     14     11      5      3
DK/NA                 8      7      8      5      9      6      7      9      4
 
 
42. (Adults) Do you think the Social Security system will be able to pay you a benefit once you are eligible to receive it?
                     ADULTS.....................................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  45%    45%    47%    44%    46%    44%    52%    41%
No                   32     29     33     31     32     31     33     27
ALRDY RECEIVING(VOL) 13     14     13     13     10     15     10     20
DK/NA                11     11      7     12     12     10      5     12
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  38%    35%    62%    41%    49%    42%    45%    38%    48%
No                   49     50     20      4     30     29     29     35     36
ALRDY RECEIVING(VOL)  -      3      6     50     12     20     16     13      3
DK/NA                12     12     12      5      9      9      9     14     14
 
 
43. (Adults) Would you say that you rely on a financial advisor or retirement fund administrator to make most or all of your investment decisions for you, or wouldn't you say that?
                     ADULTS.....................................................
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  28%    30%    31%    27%    28%    28%    39%    25%
No                   68     67     65     71     69     68     60     71
DK/NA                 4      3      3      2      4      3      1      4
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  26%    32%    30%    27%    29%    33%    31%    25%    23%
No                   71     67     67     67     68     64     66     73     71
DK/NA                 3      2      3      6      3      3      3      2      6