Majority of Americans think financial security is beyond their reach
Many Americans still consider owning a home as their American Dream, but some believe this is now unattainable, according to the State of the American Family Study released by MassMutual.
Three-quarters of respondents described the American Dream as homeownership. The vast majority (82%) said it was financial security for both themselves and their family, while 71% believe it is achieving financial independence.
Although Americans are in consensus with the definition of the American dream, the survey found that 33% now think the dream is disappearing.
The study revealed that Americans are divided when it comes to their level of financial confidence and their ability to achieve the American Dream. While most are confident about short-term financial decisions such as paying bills and budgeting (82%) and big-ticket purchases (74%), Americans become less confident in their long-term financial decisions. For example, more than half (54%) don't believe that they will achieve financial security for themselves and their family.
With a majority of Americans carrying some type of debt, the total volume of debt in the US is a cause for concern. Mortgage is the most common form of debt, with 64% of Americans having an average mortgage debt of $188,795.
"Americans believe financial security is at the core of the American Dream, but it is alarming that so many think it is beyond their reach," said Mike Fanning, head of MassMutual US. "It is clear that people are taking steps to help secure their financial future and dreams, and more can be done to help to keep the American Dream alive. Starting earlier appears to be part of the solution as 'not starting early enough' was the top financial regret across all consumer groups."