Money is keeping you awake

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Bill McColl
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If financial concerns keep you up at night…you’re apparently not alone.

A new survey by credit card provider finds 62% of those asked say they lose sleep worrying about one or more financial issues. The biggest concern? Having enough money for retirement. 40% report that causes them insomnia.

That finding doesn’t surprise Reuters Wealth Editor Lauren Young, who offers a bit of a mea culpa for it.

“I’m blaming myself because all I do is write stories for people to tell them they aren’t prepared for retirement,” she laughs. “And part of that is true but it’s the financial industry, they stand to gain by telling us that.”

Young adds that a lot of Americans may be worrying unnecessarily.

“The truth is, if you’re saving regularly, you’re probably going to do OK,” she argues. “If you’re a Fidelity client on average you have about $92,000-$100,000 in your 401K.”

However, Yahoo Finance’s Aaron Task points out for many, saving for retirement is hardly their number one concern.

“It’s not surprising people are staying up at night worrying about their finances, a third of Americans have zero savings, nothing,” he explains. “They don’t have anything in the bank for anything that comes up. So financial stress is a huge issue that so many Americans are dealing with right now.”

The survey shows that after retirement, education debt is the biggest sleep disruptor at 31%.
And Yahoo Finance’s Lauren Lyster wonders how today’s Supreme Court ruling backing federal subsidies for Obamacare might impact number three on the worry list.

“29% were worried about health care and insurance costs,” she says. “I don’t know what that says about where we still are with regard to that.”

On the plus side, notes that fewer of us are tossing and turning about money now than during the Great Recession. This new poll is seven percentage points lower from the last one taken in June of 2009.

Still, Young feels we should expect that when people are asked about what keeps them up, a lot of them would put finances right at the top of the list.

“70% of us have sleep problems as it is,” she notes. “So if you wake up, what are you going to worry about? I’m not worrying about the weather, I’m worrying about money!”

Task agrees.

“The fact that people are stressed about money--not shocking,” he says.