Friday 18 October 2019

Four in 10 adults would struggle to pay $400 if hit by emergency

 

'Currently, about 27pc of the people surveyed would have to borrow money or sell something to cover the bill, while 12pc could not pay for the expense at all.' Stock photo: Reuters
'Currently, about 27pc of the people surveyed would have to borrow money or sell something to cover the bill, while 12pc could not pay for the expense at all.' Stock photo: Reuters

Stephanie Fillion

Four in 10 American adults would struggle to handle an emergency expense as small as $400 (€357), a new Federal Reserve survey reveals.

Currently, about 27pc of the people surveyed would have to borrow money or sell something to cover the bill, while 12pc could not pay for the expense at all.

Still, overall, Americans are better off financially than they were five years ago, when about half of the population could not handle such a bill.

Unsurprisingly, health-related out-of-pocket spending is often the thing that is costly for Americans.

The most frequently skipped treatments are dental care appointments, at 17pc, visiting a doctor (12pc), and prescription medicine (1pc).

Demographic disparities persist: people living in rural areas, as well as black and Hispanic adults are more widely represented in the category of people who would struggle in such a situation.

Those with bachelor degrees or more education are also more likely to be able to pay for these bills, the survey said.

Independent News Service

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