Financial Fear Factor: Do You Have a Case of FORO?

Financial Fear Factor: Do You Have a Case of FORO?

If you find yourself terrified of a zero account balance every time you log in to your online checking account, you’re not alone.

The thought that you might not have enough money to pay for your current lifestyle is scary—so scary, in fact, that the fear is nearly universal among American adults.

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At least, that’s what a new poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling suggests. As many as 92% of respondents said that they had a case of "FORO," or the fear of running out of money.

So what, exactly, are they afraid of running out of money for?

Nearly two-thirds said it was for their monthly bills. Another 14% worry they won’t have enough money to retire comfortably. Still others fear they’ll be unable to cover unplanned expenses or fund their kids’ educations (11% and 3%, respectively). Only 8% said that FORO simply wasn't an issue for them.

Of course, it’s possible that we’re simply a nation of worrywarts. But the fact that most Americans say they fret about not being able to meet their monthly obligations implies that many folks don't have a good handle on their finances.

“The focus on immediate needs, as opposed to future ones such as retirement, reflects the uncomfortable financial situation in which many Americans live month after month,” Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC, said in a press release. Cunningham anticipates that the pressures of the upcoming holiday shopping season will only compound the problem for families already struggling with their money.

Do money-related fears keep you up at night? Then check out some of these CFP-backed solutions to the most common ones so that you can rest a little easier.

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