Medical bills lead to serious debt for some Americans: 6 things to know

Most American workers continue to worry about their personal finances, with 85 percent of employees that took a financial wellness assessment in 2015 reporting at least some level of financial stress, according to a survey released Tuesday by El Segundo, Calif.-based financial education service Financial Finesse.

Thirty-three percent were assessed as having serious debt, such as student debt, medical bills and/or credit card debt.

Here are six other findings from the survey.

1. Nine percent of millennial women under age 30 reported overwhelming financial stress compared to 5 percent of their male counterparts.

2. Lower-income males (making under $60,000 a year) were more likely than lower-income females to report no financial stress, at 13 percent versus 9 percent.

3. Women's stress levels seem to be impacted by the presence of minor children in the household, while men's stress levels seem to not be significantly impacted by the presence of minor children, the survey found.

4. Twenty-three percent of pre-retirees (age 55+) indicated they have no financial stress. However, the survey found there are still a significant percentage of pre-retirees who are heading into retirement with uncomfortable levels of debt (28 percent), no emergency savings (33 percent), and uncertainty about their retirement preparedness (50 percent).

5. Employees from higher-income households still experience financial stress, although they are less prone to have high or overwhelming financial stress, the survey found. Seventy-seven percent of men and 83 percent of women in households making $100,000 or more have financial stress, with 13 percent and 17 percent, respectively, having high or overwhelming levels of financial stress.

6. Only 6 percent of employees with overwhelming financial stress have an emergency fund, and only 44 percent pay their bills on time each month.


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