Study: Families Help Each Other in Recession

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Money may not be able to buy you love, but love can net you some much-needed cash. According to a recent survey by MetLife, family members are helping each other out during this recession. Even, it seems, if they’re in dire straits themselves.

Nearly half (47%) of the Americans surveyed by MetLife said they have given money to a family member in the past year so that the relative could pay his or her bills. This is especially noteworthy, considering that 48%, or nearly half of those benevolent relatives, said they themselves were concerned about making ends meet.  

Additionally, 47% of people who have given money to family members said they could only meet their own financial obligations for one month should they lose their jobs. Also, 35% of the survey’s participants have had a family member give them money in the past year.

In early April, MetLife conducted 2,201 online surveys in the U.S. as part of The 2010 MetLife Study of the American Dream. MetLife has been conducting its American Dream survey since 2006. While the stats on family unity are uplifting, some of the other noteworthy stats elicited from the survey are less positive.

One quarter of participants said their credit card debt was keeping them up at night. And if that wasn’t causing their insomnia, their jobs were. More than half (56%) of respondents are taking on more responsibility at work, 52% say they feel more stress in performing their job requirements and 55% are concerned about job loss.

Additionally, while only one in four participants said they believed this year would be worse than last, 41% said that their personal financial situation is likely to remain the same and 66% believe that a full economic recovery is still three years away.

“For the first time since MetLife polled the Study, Americans perceive their situation to be worse off than that of the U.S. economy in general,” Beth Hirschhorn, senior vice president of Global Brand and Marketing Services of MetLife, said in a press release. “In fact, many Americans report they continue to dig themselves out of a deep financial hole that they have been in since before the economic downturn.”

How people can think they are worse off than the economy, as opposed to, say, because of the economy is definitely thought-provoking. Butl, at least we’re all in it together.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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