A new study released by Bankrate shows that the majority of Americans think wealth is beyond their reach and that it won't be easier to get rich any time soon. The poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, is included in the new Bankrate Financial Literacy series on How to Prosper.
Among the findings:
* 70 percent of Americans believe that it is more difficult to get rich today than it was in the past;
* More than half of those surveyed believe it will be even more difficult to get rich in America in the next ten years while 24 percent think it will be about as difficult as it is now;
* When asked about the likelihood of getting rich personally, one-third of Americans say it's very or somewhat likely they will attain wealth. But 63 percent say it's not too or not at all likely they'll get rich.
* Only 21 percent of Americans see traditional investment as a feasible route to wealth, with 12 percent who believe investing well in stocks and bonds will provide them with financial freedom and 9 percent who think that investing in real estate is the best way to get rich;
* Family is the primary motivator for Americans to strive for prosperity as 41 percent of respondents said their reason for wanting wealth is to provide a better life and future for their children and 18 percent said they'd like to be rich to take care of their parents and other family members;
* Equal numbers of Americans see "job loss or income reduction" or "too many bills and not enough income" as the main obstacles to achieving wealth, with each choice being selected by 27 percent of respondents. The Credit Card Act may be a bit too late as 11 percent blamed credit card debt for wealth seeming out of reach;
* In spite of the respondents' concerns about accumulating wealth, only 52 percent of those polled say that they save consistently;
* It's not all bleak news, however: 95 percent of Americans say they are taking one or more steps to secure their financial future, with 75 percent saying they have cut back on purchases to save more and 78 percent saying they are avoiding buying "luxury goods or unnecessary items."
This national random-digit-dialed phone study of 1,003 adults 18 or older was conducted for Bankrate by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
SOURCE Bankrate, Inc.
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