For a growing number of people, the American Dream is...

DOLLARS AND SENSE

July 18, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

For a growing number of people, the American Dream is simply that--a dream.

Fewer than one in five Americans say they have achieved that dream, a CNBC/Gallup poll found. Those surveyed listed obctacles such as taxes (cited by 72 percent of repondents), education costs (71 percent) and job security (58 percent).

When asked what effect the Clinton presidency would have on their chance of achieving the American Dream, almost half said the administration would make it easier; 34 percent said there would be no impact.

One major financial concern is retirement. More than half of American adults (58 percent) are afraid they will outlive their nest eggs, a Gallup poll says.

In 1989, only 43 precent reported similar concerns.

Anxiety increased among all age groups and all income levels, but the biggest jump was among Americans 55 and over.

"Many older people don't have a lot of savings to begin with," said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "When interest rates go down, they see a real decline in their income."

A way to avoid that problem is by diversifying--spreading investment assets among a variety of securities, including stocks. However, Mr. Burtless says, many older Americans are wary of riskier investiments.

The survey was commissioned by the International Association for Financial Planning, a trade association in Atlanta.

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