Welcome!

News Feed Item

For Many Americans, Being Debt-Free Is Still the 'American Dream'

Most Are Optimistic They Will Achieve the 'American Dream,' but Pessimistic That Others Will

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - July 08, 2014) - Being out of debt and retiring financially secure represent the American Dream for a majority of Americans, and most are optimistic that they can achieve it, according to the 2014 Credit.com American Dream Survey. Retiring financially secure at age 65 represents the ultimate American dream for 36% of those surveyed, while getting out of debt came in at a close second, with 25% of respondents choosing it as their definition of the "American Dream."

The majority of survey respondents are optimistic about their ability to achieve their version of the American Dream, with 16% saying they have already achieved it and another 50% indicating it is within their reach. Only 24% say it is it not within their reach.

But when asked if they believe the American Dream is within reach for most Americans, in other words "other people," the large majority -- 68% -- say they don't believe it is. This is the second year this trend -- optimism about one's own future and pessimism about others' -- has been observed. In a similar survey commissioned by Credit.com in 2013, 55% of those surveyed said the American Dream is not within reach for most others.

"The American Dream appears to now be about getting out of debt and getting to retirement age with a sense of financial security," says Adam Levin, Co-Founder & Chairman of Credit.com. "And the sense is that the next generation will find it even harder to get there."

Other significant findings from the survey include:

  • Dreams are personal and varied. After retirement and getting out of debt, the other top definitions of the American Dream included owning a home (17%), joining the "one percent," (5%), graduating from college (3%), and paying off student loans (2%).
  • Getting out of debt is a top priority. When asked about their top financial priority for the next year, at the top of the list was paying off credit card debt, with 19% of consumers choosing that option. Close behind that, another 18% chose "being debt-free." Other responses included investing for retirement (12%), saving for a major purchase (12%), buying a home (9%), paying off student loans (6%), retiring financially secure at 65% (6%), sending kids to college (5%) or paying off the mortgage (4%).
  • Most are fairly optimistic about their ability to pay off debt. When it comes to being debt-free, 79% said they are very or somewhat likely to achieve that milestone in their lifetimes with only 18% indicating that it was not very or not at all likely that they would be debt-free in their lifetimes. Not surprisingly, those with student loan debt were most likely to say it was not very or not at all likely that they would be debt-free in their lifetimes (28%), followed closely by those who have been unemployed in the past three years (24%).

Millennials & the American Dream

Millennials -- those age 18-29 -- define the American Dream a little differently than do older Americans. Being debt-free is still a priority for many, with one in five (19%) choosing that option. Just a slightly larger number of millennials (20%) say it is retiring financially secure at age 65. An almost equal number (22%), however, say it is owning a home and 13% have education-related goals in mind, with 7% saying their dream is to graduate from college, and 6% saying the Dream means paying off their student loans.

Of note, those over age 30 are more pessimistic about millennials' ability to achieve the American Dream than those in that age group are themselves. When asked "Do you think millennials will ever realize the American Dream?" fewer than one third of respondents over the age of 29 (30%) said they believe these consumers will be able to do so, and 40% responded "no."

But fully 57% of those age 18 - 29 say the "American Dream" as they define it is within their reach and 5% have already achieved it. Only 21% say it is beyond their reach.

More data is available on all segments, including renters, homeowners, the unemployed, millennials and those with student loan debt.

About the Survey

The 2014 Credit.com American Dream Survey was based on a survey of 1,094 U.S. consumers, 18+, using Survey Monkey Audience, June 19 - 23, 2014. Margin of error was +/- 3%.

About Credit.com

Credit.com is the only company of its kind to be founded and run by leading credit experts including journalists, authors and consumer advocates. The Company is committed to helping consumers understand and master the confusing world of credit and to improve their financial standing by recommending products and actions that are in consumers' best interest. Only Credit.com provides consumers with a customized view of their credit standing and an actionable plan to improve and maintain their credit -- all for free.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Given the popularity of the containers, further investment in the telco/cable industry is needed to transition existing VM-based solutions to containerized cloud native deployments. The networking architecture of the solution isolates the network traffic into different network planes (e.g., management, control, and media). This naturally makes support for multiple interfaces in container orchestration engines an indispensable requirement.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that’s no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, will explore how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He wi...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, will discuss th...