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"Am I going to be happy and financially stable?": How American women feel when they think about financial security

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  • Talya Miron-Shatz

Abstract

Before the recent recession evoked general dismay and uncertainty, this study examined the relative contribution of income and the concern over financial security to life satisfaction. The degree to which such concerns permeate people's daily lives could be part of the broader concept of wealth, often measured through income and debt, and could help evaluate fiscal instruments promoting financial security. Study 1 (\textit{N} = 267) used econometric methods to demonstrate that the consideration of financial security was as important to participants' life satisfaction as their monetary assets. Further, outlook on financial security adds to the prediction of life satisfaction above the contribution of income. Content analysis revealed that nearly half the participants (\textit{N} = 651, Study 2) mentioned financial concerns --- retirement, college tuition, making ends meet, etc. --- when asked to think about ``the future'' in an open-ended manner. These participants reported lower life satisfaction compared with women who did not raise such concerns. The link between concerns over financial security and life satisfaction, which cannot be fully accounted for by income alone, could guide policy decisions on whether to directly allocate resources toward increasing income or to focus on creating a social and financial safety net.

Suggested Citation

  • Talya Miron-Shatz, 2009. ""Am I going to be happy and financially stable?": How American women feel when they think about financial security," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(1), pages 102-112, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:4:y:2009:i:1:p:102-112
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    References listed on IDEAS

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