Byna Elliott: April 13, 2017

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SAY GOODBYE TO THE PICKET FENCE;

PEACE OF MIND IS THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM

Fifth Third Bank Survey Reveals Americans’ Top Financial Goals 

April is National Financial Capability Month

Byna Elliott

Senior Vice President and Director of Community and Economic Development, Fifth Third Bancorp

 

 

Gone are the days of defining the American Dream as a two-story home surrounded by a white picket fence. Today, more Americans value peace of mind than homeownership.

In fact, in a recent YouGov study commissioned by Fifth Third Bank, only 15 percent of Americans identified buying a home as a benchmark of success. Instead, the survey found top financial priorities include paying off debt and saving for an emergency. Even among non-homeowners, establishing peace of mind is a more significant financial target than homeownership.

But despite redefining financial security as the New American Dream, Americans aren’t making progress. Approximately 25 percent report they aren’t saving toward financial security. And among low-income Americans, rates are even worse: 39 percent aren’t saving at all.

 

Additional Study Highlights:

·         Not making enough money to save for emergencies (39%), not making enough money to save for themselves (38%) and having too much debt (24%) currently stand in the way of low-income Americans’ financial security.

·         60% (nearly two-thirds) of low-income Americans are not comfortable with their current financial situation.

  • Nearly 3 out of 4 low-income Americans are uncomfortable with acquiring any debt (medical, business, student, mortgage, credit card, etc.)
  • 46% (nearly half) of low-income Americans did not receive financial education in high school or college. Of the low-income Americans who did receive financial education, only 27% report they found it helpful.

On Thursday, April 13th, Byna Elliott, vice president and director of Community and Economic Development for Fifth Third Bank is available to available to share insight on the study findings, tips for achieving financial security and more information about the Bank’s ongoing effort to improve financial education through its free L.I.F.E. (Lives Improved through Financial Empowerment®) programs.

More About Byna Elliott:

Byna Elliott is senior vice president and director of Community and Economic Development, a role that includes oversight of the Bank’s charitable giving, economic development for underserved communities, and lending in urban and rural markets.  Byna is a community reinvestment professional with over 20 years of experience, including five years of experience in administering all aspects of consumer compliance programs and Community Reinvestment Act initiatives. Byna began her career at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 1993 and moved into the financial services industry in 1998.

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