Unemployment

Here's how people without work are paying the bills

Posted on Monday, July 4, 2011

The anemic economy has left millions of Americans out of a job, and often for long stretches at a time. A new survey from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies takes a look at how they are getting by.
Transamerica enlisted polling firm Harris Interactive to survey 668 people who had been fully employed but are now unemployed or underemployed, meaning they are working part-time but would like to be working full-time.
Not surprisingly, the most common source of funds were savings and unemployment benefits, with half of those surveyed reporting that they rely on each of those. About one-third also reported relying on credit cards and/or a partners’ income.
More than 20 percent said they had withdrawn money from a retirement account, and 19 percent reported taking a loan from a friend or family member.
The respondents could choose more than one source of income.
People who had been out of work for a year or more were much more likely to have withdrawn money from a retirement account and/or started relying on credit cards.
It should go without saying that a big spell without work can leave a person feeling nervous about when – or if – they can retire. Two-thirds of those surveyed said the recession had left them less confident in their ability to achieve a financially secure retirement.
By Allison Linn, senior business writer, LIFEINC


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