About Half of Americans Believe They Can Become Financially Independent, According to New Survey Data

DALLAS, June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Is reaching the American Dream possible? According to the results of a recent survey by the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), just over half of Americans still believe they will become financially independent at some point in their life.

The survey, which was conducted between June 18 and 23, 2022, measures people’s feelings and attitudes toward money and level of confidence when making financial decisions. Adults around the US were asked to rate how much they agree with the statement, "I will become financially independent at some point in my life." Response choices were "Strongly agree," "Agree," "Neutral (I neither agree nor disagree)," "Disagree," or "Strongly disagree."

The findings show that the hope for financial independence is still alive among Americans: out of 1,506 respondents, 55.4% responded either "Strongly agree" or "Agree" to this question. Only 16.5% said they felt they would not reach financial independence in their lifetimes. The remaining 28.1% responded "Neutral," indicating that they may be on the fence about this important issue.

Learn the full results here: https://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/financial-independence-survey/.

These survey results represent some good news in an era of inflation and economic upheaval. Apparently, as people deal with employment uncertainty, a changing workplace environment, skyrocketing prices, and debt stress, many remain optimistic about the equity of opportunities available to them for securing their futures.

On the flip side, however, the findings also demonstrate that there’s room for improvement in Americans’ confidence levels around money management. "The American Dream is rooted in the belief of a better life and optimism for the future, and the data from this survey shows that many Americans feel that dream is attainable," says Vince Shorb, CEO of the NFEC. "However, it also indicates that many have given up hope for financial independence. This serves as a reminder of the ongoing need for advocacy to educate those who otherwise see little or no chance of ever achieving financial independence."

Some people’s pessimism toward being able to reach financial independence may be related to how the term is defined. Financial independence has been described in various ways, as laid out in this article: https://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/financial-independence-definition/. According to one definition, you’ve reached financial independence when you accumulate enough wealth to pay your expenses for the rest of your life. Another definition says it refers to the moment when a young adult no longer has to rely on financial support from parents. This wide disparity between definitions may influence a person’s perceptions about the ability to reach a financially independent position.

Regardless which definition we choose, the results of this survey raise both hope for the American Dream and concern about the financial capabilities of future generations. Americans need solid, practical financial education to build their confidence and optimism toward reaching financial independence. This Independence Day, fourth of July, the NFEC encourages people to define what financial independence means to them and identify the steps that will help them work toward that goal.

The National Financial Educators Council is a social enterprise organization that recently received status through the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) as an Accredited Provider (AP), the highest accreditation designation for financial education program development.

The NFEC develops tools, training, and resources that support organizations and individuals to build financial wellness at the community level. The organization is dedicated to conducting financial literacy research to gain a deeper understanding of personal finance topics and provide the industry with data and professional perspectives to guide this important movement.

Media Contact:
Trevor Stoll

SOURCE National Financial Educators Council