According to research cited in a WSJ blog, nearly half of us (Americans) are "financially fragile." Curious that eggheads have to undertake a study to verify this. The respondents were asked if they'd have trouble ponying up $2,000 in 30 days -- the amount representing a major car repair, such as transmission replacement, or some other unforeseen emergency: medical, legal, home repair, or addiction. (OK, so I threw in the last one; it's not crazily unrealistic, though, is it?)
A few qualifiers:
-- 2009 data were used
-- US respondents were not nearly as financially fragile as those in other countries
The results certainly don't shock me. While I have only consulted the article, and not the study itself, I'd have to muse:
-- Can I borrow to come up with the $2,000?
-- Can I tap into 401k or other money set aside for retirement?
-- Must I resort to legal means?
-- Does reckless gambling count as an option?
-- 30 days? ARE YOU KIDDING? Like the transmission guy or the dentist or the lawyer or the mortgage company is going to just spot you 30 days, just like that? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. (I'm making sure I can come up with $60 cold cash for lawnmower repair tomorrow.)
Folks, it's 2011. Let's hope the "financial fragility" ratios have improved, rapturously.
Talk about AlbatrossDreams.