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Life on the Financial Edge

According to a Federal Reserve report, 47 percent of Americans wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense without borrowing money or selling something they own!

That saddens me as a financial planning professional. It also scares me as an American because nearly half the country is living life on a very fine financial line. 

Think about it – a car repair, a new appliance, a high heating bill after a cold December – or countless other unexpected, yet fairly common expenses could put people in potentially serious financial trouble. The folks in this boat are without a doubt part of The Unprotected.

What does this say about our country?

In many ways it’s shameful. But I don’t mean in the sense that these folks should be shamed or ashamed, but rather that their situations carry internal shame with them, which only adds to the overall burden.

The decisions these people are making don’t concern what kind of leather to get in the new car or where to take the family on vacation, but rather how to keep the lights on at home and put food on the table.

To be sure, we all struggle to a certain extent. However, life as a “47 percenter” seems to be a constant struggle.

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