Fact Sheet: Financial Strain
Workers Fret About Finances, Yet Don’t Plan for Emergencies
  • Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) don’t have a financial plan for dealing with unexpected life challenges or events.
  • 34% say learning they had an unexpected serious illness or injury would leave them concerned about how it would affect their ability to pay for monthly expenses.
  • More than a quarter (26%) of all employees say they consider saving $50 each month a greater hardship than adjusting to a large unexpected cost.
  • Of the 42% of Americans with financial plans in place, 22% say health insurance is not part of their overall plan. Another 36% say health insurance is only a minor part of their plan.
  • When asked if their goals and dreams are financially protected, 40% say they somewhat/strongly disagree. Another 24% only somewhat agree.
Workers Under Financial Strain
  • When asked if their family will be financially prepared in the event of an unexpected emergency, 36% somewhat/strongly disagree. Another 29% only somewhat agree.
  • 51% are only somewhat confident about their financial future; another 24% are not very/not at all confident.
  • Six in 10 say they need to make cuts or sacrifices to save money.
  • The majority (68%) of workers are coping with a financial crisis and/or trying to reduce debt.
  • Over half (58%) expect their household financial condition to remain the same or get worse in the next 12 months.
Workers Financially Underprepared for Unexpected Health Events
  • 45% say they would be unable to adjust to the large financial costs associated with a serious injury or illness.
  • 46% say they are not prepared to pay out-of-pocket expenses not covered by major medical insurance. Additionally, 40% are only somewhat prepared.
  • 28% have less than $500 on hand to pay out-of-pocket health expenses; another 23% say they only have between $500 and $1,000.
  • 36% say they would have to borrow money from their 401(k), friends and/or family to pay out-of-pocket medical costs; 30% would need to charge out-of-pocket expenses to a credit card.
  • The majority (60%) of employees have done nothing to prepare themselves and their families for possible changes to their health care plans.

The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report was conducted January 24–February 23, 2012, by Research Now on behalf of Aflac.