Stressed out couple reviewing bills

First, the depressing facts: According to the often-quoted statistic from the Federal Reserve’s “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2018,” “If faced with an unexpected expense of $400 … 27% [of Americans] would borrow or sell something to pay for the expense, and 12% would not be able to cover the expense at all.” This translates into 127 million Americans being a hair’s breadth away from financial ruin.

Think about what a low bar $400 is in today’s world: Maybe a new set of tires for your late model automobile, an emergency room visit or even a “luxury” good like signing junior up for an after-school sport. Since most readers of CU Times likely don’t fit into this category of Americans, it might be hard to imagine what it feels like to live on this razor’s edge. Filene’s recent research report, “The Case for Workplace Financial Well-Being,” illuminates this impact by reporting: “Half or more of all workers – including more than half of credit union employees – admit to feeling stressed by their finances, and that stress is spilling over into their work …” This stress causes, among other things, employee disengagement, absenteeism and turnover. Research can sometimes be very depressing.

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