The average annual household income Americans would need to feel financially secure is $128,000, according to a new survey of 2,000 adults by Personal Capital and the Harris Poll.
That figure is nearly double the median household income of $67,521, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Almost half of poll respondents said their debts are “unmanageable”; 37 percent said a surprise $100 expense would cause them anxiety.
In 2021’s fourth quarter, 34 percent of those responding said they felt financially healthy; a year earlier, 48 percent said they did.
Thirty percent agreed that “expenses are constantly piling on,” compared to 23 percent who felt that way a year before.
“With rising inflation eating up some of the reported wage gains from 2021, Americans also say that the top barriers to financial health are not getting paid enough and constantly increasing expenses,” the survey report said. 
TRENDPOST: The survey’s results reflect the study we reported in “$100,000 Income, Chump Change? Can’t Afford “American Dream?” (11 Jan 2022), which questioned whether a $100,000 annual income could support a house in the suburbs, a recent-model car, a child or two, and a college fund for the kids.
The study concluded that $100,000 likely would not be adequate to support that lifestyle. The poll’s findings add evidence that the traditional American Dream is now out of reach for most of us. 
TREND FORECAST: Although wages are rising in developed nations, as we have continued to detail inflation is rising faster. 
As inflation outpaces income, societies will continue to pull apart into two groups, the well-off and those who struggle. The idea that most people will inhabit a comfortable middle class is rapidly becoming quaint.
As people—especially those with education beyond high school—fall further and further behind, pressures will grow for the government to fund items that have become necessities, such as child care and post-secondary education or training. This will be a foundation for new political movements. 

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