'It Has Taken a Devastating Toll'
Newsweek US|July 12 - 19, 2024 (Double Issue)
Financial insecurity is causing a mental health crisis, with nearly two-thirds of Americans saying money matters cause them the most stress
GIULIA CARBONARO
'It Has Taken a Devastating Toll'

STEPHANIE AND PAUL LITTLETON AREN'T LIVING the life they had imagined for themselves. Ten years ago, they moved from their native California to Texas chasing better work opportunitiesand they found them. Paul, 49, works as an estimator and project manager for a construction company; Stephanie, 48, works in trust administration.

They're now making more money than ever but, after years of high inflation, they find themselves living paycheck to paycheck, while helping their kids to pay off debt and save enough money to step on the coveted property ladder.

As they both approach the age of 50, the Littletons say they are now in the same financial situation as when they got married in their 20s.

"It feels terrible," Stephanie told Newsweek. "The only difference is that the bills are bigger."

"We are helping our oldest daughter with student loans, and our youngest daughter and her boyfriend live with us because they can't find anywhere else affordable to live," she said. "It has taken a devastating toll on our mental health and our relationships."

The Littletons are far from being the only family experiencing this type of financial stress. Financial insecurity is degrading Americans' mental health according to a recent study by MarketWatch Guides shared exclusively with Newsweek.

Even though inflation has eased considerably compared to its June 2022 peak, nearly half (47 percent) of respondents to a survey conducted by the financial news and market data company said that 2024 has been the most stressful year of their lives, money-wise.

'Financial Fatique'

Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they feel some level of financial stress, and 65 percent said their finances are the biggest source of stress, which is having a significant negative impact on Americans' mental health.

This story is from the July 12 - 19, 2024 (Double Issue) edition of Newsweek US.

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This story is from the July 12 - 19, 2024 (Double Issue) edition of Newsweek US.

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