‘In My Opinion, They’re Still Struggling’

Suze Orman, a household name in personal finance, throws a bucket of cold water on the celebratory mood surrounding the seemingly robust national economy.

While headlines boast low unemployment, a booming stock market and moderating inflation, Orman warns of a different reality for a significant portion of the population.

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“On an individual level, I think people are not doing OK,” Orman said in a recent interview with MSNBC. Her concern stems from a troubling statistic: Over half of Americans lack a $400 emergency fund. This precarious situation means even minor setbacks like car trouble can trigger a debt spiral as people resort to credit cards.

This disconnect between national economic data and individual financial hardship is a cause for alarm. Despite positive indicators, millions grapple with rising housing costs, stagnant wages not keeping pace with inflation and a general sense of economic insecurity.

“The rents people are paying, the prices they’re paying for real estate, their homes -— that concerns me,” Orman said. “When you look at people’s individual situation, in my opinion, they’re still struggling.”

The past few years have exacerbated this disparity. The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged savings and strained budgets, even as the broader economy rebounded. Orman argues that individual financial well-being, not just national metrics, should be the true gauge of economic health.

This sentiment isn’t unique to Orman. A Treasury department analysis revealed that Americans, on average, had the purchasing power to maintain their 2019 lifestyle in 2023, with additional savings or spending capacity because of rising wages. However, public perception remains negative. A CBS News poll found a stark contrast, with 60% of respondents describing the economy as “fairly bad” or “very bad.”

Experts offer explanations for this gap. While metrics improve, many Americans may still feel financially squeezed by lingering inflation or economic inequality. Additionally, broader societal issues like gun violence and social isolation may be coloring economic perceptions. Media narratives can play a role, as constant exposure to negative economic outlooks might overshadow positive data.

Orman’s message is a reminder that national economic strength doesn’t automatically translate to individual well-being. Addressing the financial struggles of millions remains a critical challenge, even amid seemingly positive economic indicators.

If you’re concerned about your financial situation or want to develop a plan to achieve your financial goals, consider consulting a financial adviser. A qualified adviser can assess your circumstances, create a personalized strategy and guide you toward a more secure financial future. Don’t let the national economic narrative overshadow your financial reality. Take charge and empower yourself with the knowledge and tools to navigate your financial journey.

Read Next:

  • The average American couple has saved this much money for retirement — How do you compare?

  • Are you rich? Here’s what Americans think you need to be considered wealthy.

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This article Suze Orman Doesn’t Believe People Are Doing ‘OK’ Despite Being Told The Economy Is Strong: ‘In My Opinion, They’re Still Struggling’ originally appeared on Benzinga.com

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