Americans’ Financial Health Gets Better

The Good Accounting News:

Accounting News MOA Accounting MiamiAccounting News – According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the personal financial satisfaction of the U.S. population is steadily increasing. In fact, it’s reaching a 24-year peak for the fourth quarter of 2017. This Personal Satisfaction Index is calculated with consideration to personal pleasure and personal pain indexes. These include job opportunities and market gains across the trading floor, from NASDAQ to S&P and more.

Reports in accounting news say this fourth quarter just closed with a 5.2% increase in market gains. On the pain index side, considerations include taxes and inflation.

Outlook toward the future is also more positive. The CPA Outlook Index measures certified accountants’ views on the economy and their firms’ prospects for the year ahead. According to the PFSI, the number increased by 3.5% from just the previous quarter, while home equity also climbed by 1.7%. It’s important to point out though, that even though Americans’ financial health is better, there are still some pain points. For example, job openings per capita are growing steadily, however available employment opportunities dropped by 3% in the past four months. Inflation is up to, by 14.1% and loan delinquencies by 1.9% too. When we look at the picture though, it’s good accounting news, with the pain index has been decreasing a total of 12.1% since the same time in 2016.

The Bad Accounting News:

millenials financial debt accountant miamiSo even though Americans in general seem to be in better financial health, Millennials which represent the largest generation in the U.S. isn’t doing too well. According to the AICPA, they’re twice as likely to worry about debt (43%) than Baby Boomers (19%). Almost 7 out of 10 Millennials said, in a survey, that they’re negatively impacted by debt in their day to day, resulting in anxiety, sleepless nights, fights with partners or spouses and even distraction at work.

The AICPA survey included 1,004 people, where 28% reported debt caused them to feel stressed out and 19% of them said they were receiving letters and calls from collection agencies. What’s interesting in this accounting news is that even though both Millennials and Baby Boomers were statistically equally likely to have debt, Millennials stressed out about it more. In fact, double than their older counterparts. That’s probably because they experienced the effects of debt first-hand during the recent financial crisis.

So what are the main causes for debt?

Causes for debt36% of people survey reported that they didn’t make enough money to cover expenses. 41% blamed their mortgages, 33% attributed their debt to car payments. Health care costs and student loans represented 32% and 23% respectively. 30% blamed interest payments on credit cards. Only 16% of people said vacation and luxuries was why they were in debt.

According to NPR accounting news, Americans carry about $784 billion in credit card debt and owe about 1.34 trillion on student loans, not to mention household debt is at a record high, at $13 trillion. But NerdWallet reports higher numbers than NPR, with at an estimated $905 billion in credit card debt in 2017; an 8% increase from 2016. The average household according to their debt study analysis is carrying a credit card of $15,654 due to medical expenses.

So what’s your financial health and well being like? If you’re dealing with financial issues, personal or business, call 305.868.7620 the Manal Oliver accounting firm in Miami Beach for professional help.