Majority of Americans Stressed About Runaway Inflation, Cost of Living

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With inflation at a four-decade highpushing food prices, mortgage rates and gas prices soaring — it’s no surprise Americans are worried. In fact, a new survey finds that a whopping 66% of Americans say they are stressed about inflation.

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The survey, by publicly traded property and casualty insurance company Chubb, found that for Americans, the next two biggest worries (after inflation) were monthly expenses/cost of living (with 59% of respondents indicating worry) and medical/health expenses (with 44% of those polled admitting the same). The ability to retire (42.6%) followed, as well as volatile markets (35%) and interest rates (32%).

“Inflation is hitting Americans hard,” Scott Teller — EVP, client segment leader for Chubb Personal Risk Services, told GOBankingRates. “Inflation rates are the highest they’ve been in 40 years, and it’s affecting all parts of the economy. From the gas station to grocery and food stores as well as the overall cost of living and housing. It’s not very surprising that Americans are expressing worry. Until the rise of inflation cools, we expect these heightened concerns to be ongoing.”

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To help alleviate or mitigate their financial stress, Americans turned to a variety of financial planning strategies. At the top of the list is employee benefits solutions (59% of respondents said as much) followed by longer-term investing strategies (57%) and short-term strategies (35%), per the survey. However, only 26% of those polled say they work with a financial advisor, and 12% of respondents said they work with an insurance agent or broker.

Another key finding of the survey is that 75% of Americans polled want their employers to offer more benefits related to financial protection for employees and their families, with 46% strongly agreeing and 29.3% somewhat agreeing.

“As inflation rises, a known repercussion is that it dampens consumer appetite for risk,” Teller said. “Additionally, we find consumers looking for more support from employers around financial protection to help weather the uncharted territories around impacts tied to inflation. Because of inflation’s impact across one’s finances — and consumers’ worry around day-to-day expenses — the idea that an employer could provide additional protection-oriented solutions is comforting to many, the poll found.”

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Finally, the survey suggested that 57% of respondents agree with the statement: “The safety and protection of myself and my family is more important now than ever before.”

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Teller explained that concerns around inflation are valid — and that it’s not surprising to see Americans proactively looking for ways to protect themselves, and their family, from unfortunate impacts.

“It’s important to look into ways you can protect yourself such as insurance options, reassessing debt and paying attention to your salary and other compensation at work,” he said.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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