What’s the #1 cause of financial stress in your state?

What’s the #1 cause of financial stress in your state?

Americans are becoming increasingly stressed over their finances. In fact, the current financial stress rates in the U.S. are among the highest they have ever been over the last five years, according to consulting firm PwC’s 2016 Employee Financial Wellness Survey.

To find out exactly what is causing so much financial stress among many Americans, GOBankingRates.com surveyed more than 7,000 people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and asked them: “Of the following, what is your No. 1 cause of financial stress?”

The survey respondents had seven options to choose from:

Paying off my debt (i.e. credit cards)
Not being able to retire
Not having enough money to fund an emergency
Wanting a nicer lifestyle
Paying for education
Lack of stable income
Paying my mortgage or rent

Among all states and DC, the most common answer respondents gave was “paying off my debt,” followed by “not being able to retire” and “not having enough money to fund an emergency.” The least popular answer was “paying my mortgage or rent.”

Regardless of the cause of financial stress, it’s important to address it rather than ignore it, said Stephen Alred Jr., founder of fee-only financial planning firm Ignite Financial.

“Create a strategy, or hire a professional to create one for you that will have actionable steps,” he said.

Illinois: Paying Off My Debt

The total debt balance per capita in Illinois is about on par with the national average — yet, it’s still a hefty $45,010, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. However, Illinois has a higher student loan debt balance per capita and slightly higher credit card debt than the national average.

Credit: GoBankingRates.com / CFP.net

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