Survey Finds Great Recession Aftershocks Are Still Rattling Americans

Do you know how to prepare for the next recession? This survey found many Americans do not.

America has had its fair share of recessions. And, it’s possible — perhaps even likely — the country will experience yet another one in the near future. In fact, some experts predict the next recession will hit the U.S. in just a couple of years.

The effects of the last recession, known as the Great Recession, were devastating. From 2007 to 2009, Americans were faced with a multitude of financial hurdles. As the housing and financial markets tumbled, many lost their jobs, homes and even their retirement savings. In fact, there are still people who are struggling today to make ends meet and recover from the recession.

Although it might be impossible to accurately predict the next economic crisis, it would be wise for all Americans to start preparing their finances for it. However, are they already prepared? At GOBankingRates, we wanted to find out.

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Americans’ Recession Preparation: Overall Results

In a recent survey conducted by Survata, GOBankingRates asked 1,007 Americans six yes-or-no questions to determine their financial preparedness in the event of another recession:

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  1. Are you currently living paycheck to paycheck?
  2. Do you currently have enough money saved to cover six months of living expenses?
  3. Are you ready to search for a new job with an updated resume?
  4. Do you have multiple streams of income?
  5. Does your investment strategy account for a recession?
  6. Were you personally affected by the Recession of 2008?

Based on respondents’ answers, GOBankingRates found that most Americans are not prepared for the next recession. And, our data suggests many Americans are still struggling from the effects of the Great Recession. Here are the highlights from the survey:

  • 49% of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.
  • 61% do not have enough money saved to cover six months of living expenses.
  • 78% are not ready to search for a new job with an updated resume.
  • 64% do not have multiple streams of income.
  • 68% say their investment strategy does not account for a recession.

For a clearer picture of which Americans are most prepared and which ones are not, take a look at the following tables below.

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Americans’ Recession Preparation: Gender Insights

Men and women participated in this survey on recession preparation. The following are insights on how they answered each question in the survey.

Question 1: Are you currently living paycheck to paycheck?

Answers

Males Females
Yes 41% 56%
No 59%

44%

Question 2: Do you currently have enough money saved to cover six months of living expenses?

Answers

Males Females
Yes 48% 31%
No 52%

69%

Question 3: Are you ready to search for a new job with an updated resume?

Answers

Males Females
Yes 28% 17%
No 72%

83%

Question 4: Do you have multiple streams of income?

Answers Males Females
Yes 42% 30%
No 58%

70%

Question 5: Does your investment strategy account for a recession?

Answers

Males Females
Yes 39% 26%
No 61%

74%

Question 6: Were you personally affected by the Recession of 2008?

Answers

Males Females
Yes 38% 35%
No 62% 65%

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Americans’ Recession Preparation: Age Insights

This survey also sorted Americans into age groups. Below is the breakdown on how each age group (18- to 24-year-olds, 25- to 34-year-olds, 35- to 44-year-olds, 45- to 54-year-olds, 55- to 64-year-olds, and 65 and over) responded to each question posed in the survey.

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Question 1: Are you currently living paycheck to paycheck?

Answers 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Yes 52% 46% 46% 50% 53% 44%
No 48% 54% 54% 50% 47% 56%

Question 2: Do you currently have enough money saved to cover six months of living expenses?

Answers 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Yes 28% 39% 35% 40% 58% 49%
No 72% 61% 65% 60% 42% 51%

Question 3: Are you ready to search for a new job with an updated resume?

Answers 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Yes 41% 38% 24% 16% 11% 10%
No 59% 62% 76% 84% 89% 90%

Question 4: Do you have multiple streams of income?

Answers 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Yes 31% 37% 41% 31% 36% 38%
No 69% 63% 69% 69% 64% 63%

Question 5: Does your investment strategy account for a recession?

Answers 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Yes 23% 26% 33% 36% 38% 33%
No 77% 74% 67% 64% 62% 67%

Question 6: Were you personally affected by the Recession of 2008?

Answers 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Yes 22% 32% 45% 40% 42% 31%
No 78% 68% 55% 60% 58% 69%

Also See: 20 Things to Do in a Falling Stock Market

 

More Insights: Americans Affected by 2008 Recession

In this survey, GOBankingRates also set out to see whether Americans who were affected by the Great Recession are still struggling from the lasting effects. Here’s how they responded to the questions:

Question 1: Are you currently living paycheck to paycheck?

Answers

Affected by 2008 Recession Not Affected by 2008 Recession
Yes 60% 42%
No 40%

58%

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Question 2: Do you currently have enough money saved to cover six months of living expenses?

Answers Affected by 2008 Recession Not Affected by 2008 Recession
Yes 33% 42%
No 67%

58%

Question 3: Are you ready to search for a new job with an updated resume?

Answers Affected by 2008 Recession Not Affected by 2008 Recession
Yes 27% 20%
No 73%

80%

Question 4: Do you have multiple streams of income?

Answers Affected by 2008 Recession Not Affected by 2008 Recession
Yes 31% 38%
No 69% 62%

Question 5: Does your investment strategy account for a recession?

Answers Affected by 2008 Recession Not Affected by 2008 Recession
Yes 32% 33%
No 68%

67%

Next Up: 6 States With the Biggest Real Estate Bubbles

Methodology: This GOBankingRates survey posed six questions to 1,007 people in the U.S. Responses were collected through Survata on May 30, 2017, and responses are representative of the U.S. online population. The survey has a 3.1 percent margin of error.

Respondents were asked the following questions, and could only answer “yes” or “no”: (1) Are you currently living paycheck to paycheck? (2) Do you currently have enough money saved to cover 6 months of living expenses? (3) Are you ready to search for a new job with an updated resume? (4) Do you have multiple streams of income? (5) Does your investment strategy account for a recession? (6) Were you personally affected by the Recession of 2008?

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About the Author

Sydney Champion

Sydney Champion joined GOBankingRates in 2015 as an editor. Before joining GOBankingRates, Sydney was the managing editor and editor-in-chief of Los Angeles-based lifestyle and entertainment website Campus Circle, and worked at Modern Luxury and BOP & Tiger Beat magazines.

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