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Financial Planning > College Planning

5 signs of financial stress [infographic]

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Families with teenagers tend to feel a financial pinch this time of year thanks to rising school fees, proms, graduations, “senior trips” to exotic locations and costs associated with sending a student to college.

The bulk of this type of personal finance strain is experienced by baby boomers and Gen Xers. 

According to Bloomberg, college and graduate students last year took out an average of $29,000 in educational loans, which accounted for 10.2 percent of household debt. That makes student loans among the largest drags on a family’s finances, second only to a mortgage.

Where does this leave parents and grandparents who are pitching in to a get a kid through college? Financially stressed and prone to dip into their retirement accounts to cover extra expenses.

Even worse: Some of these cash-strapped families may not be saving for retirement at all.

Financial stress, regardless of its cause, can affect productivity, relationships, health and overall well-being. To help determine the degree to which you, your employees or your clients may be weathering financial stress, Purchasing Power, a company that specializes in consumer products, benefits, financial tools and other online services, published an insightful infographic. Based on data from such sources as Harris Poll, SHRM and the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, Purchasing Power’s infographic (below) provides a roadmap to spotting five signs of financial stress.

With a whopping 82 percent of employees saying that they are experiencing financial stress today, it’s no wonder that this topic might dominate some of your conversations with family members, prospects or clients. (Please click on the infographic to enlarge.)