While Americans brace for another year of economic uncertainty, many have given up hope on returning to the pre-recession economy. According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index survey, just 27 percent think the old, pre-recession economy will return. Half of these Americans don't expect to see it return until 2015 or later.
If the current economic reality is here to stay, Americans are cautiously optimistic about their ability to be financially secure in this economy. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) are at least somewhat confident they can meet their financial goals and needs. However, 27 percent are not very confident.
Americans are divided over whether personal or governmental changes are needed to improve their financial security in the current economy.
►Twenty-six percent say a higher paying job would most make them feel more financially secure.
►About an equal number (25 percent) cite a lower national debt as their primary change.
►Another 16 percent say improved job security.
"With the most optimistic believing a full economic recovery is years away, the need for people to take control of their money has never been greater," said Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support at COUNTRY Financial. "It's encouraging a majority are confident they can meet their financial goals. However, financial security is different for everyone. Redefine your financial security in this economy and revisit your goals. Create a plan to achieve them in this economic climate."
The impact of the recession goes beyond the years of economic recovery for a number of Americans. Half have permanently changed how they manage their money, many altering every aspect of their finances.