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Lincoln Survey: Most Americans Have a Sunny Outlook

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While acknowledging the U.S. economy has taken a turn for the worse, most Americans remain optimistic about their futures, a new survey reports.  

Lincoln Financial Group, Radnor, Pa., published this finding in a summary of results from a Mood of America survey based on telephone interviews conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies. The November survey polled 803 adults 18 years of age and older across the U.S.

Nearly three quarters of American adults (72%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” optimistic about their futures. And two-thirds (66%) say their lives are going in the right direction, the survey reports.

Seventy-six percent of women say they are optimistic about their futures, compared to two-thirds (67%) of men. But three-quarters (74%) of respondents, the Lincoln survey adds, believe the country is “off on the wrong track.

Two in three Americans (66%) say they are in control of the lives. While about half or more feel “very much” in control of their personal or family life (59%), health (51%) and life in general (47%), only about a quarter (27%) say they are “very much” in control of their financial futures.

The survey also reports that Americans who feel in control of their lives consider financial freedom—having enough money to do what they want to do—to be four to five times more important than being wealth.

They are also more likely town a retirement account, such as a 401(k) or IRA and other financial products, including life insurance.

Although nearly half of those in control (46%) say they do not have enough money to live on when they retire and a third (34%) have an annual income below $50,000, more than 8 in 10 (84%) are very or somewhat optimistic about their financial futures, the survey says.


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