Thumbs Down: Living Small

Physician's Money Digest, March15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 5

Even as the economy sputters to life,the years of stock market declinesand disappearing jobs have taken theirtoll on Americans' financial well-being.According to a recent MetLife survey,more than half of all Americans whoare nearing retirement age live frompaycheck to paycheck. And evenamong those who make more than$75,000 a year, a third depend on thenext paycheck to get by financially.Depending on income from workmakes consumers nervous about thejob market, and more than two thirdshave doubts about their ability to stayafloat financially. Although the governmentinsists that inflation hasbeen tamed, many consumers facesharply rising costs for everydayneeds such as food, gasoline, heatingoil, and natural gas, as well as formedical care and college tuition.