WASHINGTON (8/8/14)--The effects of the Great Recession continue to haunt U.S. consumers. About a quarter of U.S. families reported they were "just getting by" financially, while 13% described themselves as struggling, according to a new Federal Reserve report released on Thursday.
Another 34% percent said they were worse off financially than in 2008 at the start of the Great Recession. Thirty-four percent said they were about the same. Thirty percent said they were better off, according to the report.
This aligns with the Credit Union National Association's 2014-2015 National Member and Nonmember Survey. The recently released report asked consumers to compare their current financial status to that of two years ago. About 20% said they were worse off, 42% were about the same and just under 40% of members said they are better offer now.
While 31% of the Fed survey respondents had applied for some type of credit in the prior 12 months, one-third of those who applied were turned down or given less credit than they applied for. Another 19% of respondents put off applying for credit because they thought they would be turned down.
The survey results also suggest that many households are not adequately prepared for retirement. Thirty-one percent of non-retired respondents reported having no retirement savings or pension, including 19% of those age 55 to 64.
Almost half of adults were not actively thinking about financial planning for retirement, with 24% saying they had given only a little thought to financial planning for their retirement and another 25% saying they had done no planning at all. Of those who have given at least some thought to retirement planning and plan to retire at some point, 25% didn't know how they will pay their expenses in retirement.
The Great Recession pushed back the planned date of retirement for two-fifths of those age 45 and over who had not yet retired, and 15% of those who had retired since 2008 reported that they retired earlier than planned due to the recession.
Among those age 55 to 64 who had not yet retired, only 18% planned to follow the traditional retirement model of working full-time until a set date and then stop working altogether, while 24% expected to keep working as long as possible, 18% expected to retire and then work a part-time job, and 9% expected to retire and then become self-employed.