Just a Fraction Feel Financially Free Finds Finance Firm Study

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In a sobering representation of the financial landscape, a recent survey by digital personal finance firm Achieve reveals that a mere 11% of Americans believe they have attained financial freedom, a term broadly defined as being debt-free, living comfortably, and meeting monthly financial obligations without difficulty. This rather bleak statistic underscores the economic struggles of many citizens, with over half of the respondents asserting that their top financial goal is to be free from debt, highlighting the pervasive issue of indebtedness across generations.

The study further unveils a shift in the American dream, with fewer people aspiring to be ‘rich’ and more focusing on simply being able to pay their bills on time, according to Achieve co-founder and Co-CEO Brad Stroh. This shift reflects the economic pressures faced by numerous American families, with financial freedom now more about making ends meet rather than accruing wealth. Adding to this financial gloom, the survey discloses that 58% of respondents feel they are nowhere near achieving their personal definition of financial freedom, largely due to inadequately funded savings accounts.

Survey Reveals Limited Financial Freedom Among Americans

A recent survey conducted by digital personal finance firm Achieve has disclosed that just a meager 11% of Americans feel they have reached their personal definition of financial freedom. The study demonstrates a prevailing sense of financial insecurity among many individuals, with a majority of them striving to merely make ends meet and fulfill monthly financial obligations.

Defining Financial Freedom

The survey sought to understand how Americans define financial freedom. The results illustrated that for most respondents, being free from debt is the ultimate financial goal, with 54.2% of respondents identifying it as such. Following close behind, 50% of respondents viewed living comfortably as financial freedom, while 49.3% defined it as being able to meet monthly financial commitments with money to spare.

Interestingly, only a small percentage of respondents, 12.6%, equated wealth with financial freedom. Furthermore, 32% of respondents expressed that having ample funds to retire from work was their financial aspiration.

Unattainable Financial Goals

Brad Stroh, co-founder and co-CEO of Achieve, commented on the survey findings, emphasizing the shift in American financial aspirations. He noted that the goal of becoming ‘rich’ was less common, with many families focusing on their ability to pay bills on time.

The study revealed financial stability to be particularly elusive for those burdened with debt. Over half of the respondents from each generation identified being debt-free as their top financial priority.

Facing Financial Reality

The reality of the financial situation for many Americans is stark. The survey showed that 58% of respondents consider themselves far from achieving their financial goals. This is reflected in the fact that many lack well-funded savings accounts. A worrying 40% of respondents do not have even a basic bank savings account. Of those who do, nearly 36% reported having less than $1,000 in their accounts.

However, the survey also highlighted a ray of hope among the respondents. More than half (52%) believe their financial situation is improving, compared to the 37% who believe it is deteriorating.


The Achieve survey provides a sobering insight into the financial realities faced by many Americans. It underscores the need for effective financial planning and education to help individuals attain financial stability, rather than focusing solely on wealth acquisition. As the economic landscape continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how these perceptions and definitions of financial freedom change over time.

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