While Americans feel only so-so about the country, they tend to feel good about their own personal lives and finances, a new study by Lincoln Financial Group suggests.
Americans in general are lukewarm about the state of the country, and their optimism is sharply divided along partisan lines, said Lincoln.
In its 2016 “Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction” study, the Radnor, Pa., firm found that Democrats are far more optimistic about the country than Republicans.
While 43 percent of respondents in general reported feeling positive about the state of the country, 55 percent of Democrats felt that way while only 32 percent of Republicans did.
When asked whether they felt the country is heading in the right direction, only 35 percent of the total said yes, but a higher percentage of them were Democrats, 53 percent, while only 18 percent of Republicans said yes.
Nevertheless, the respondents’ feelings about their country do not extend to their personal lives and finances—where the responses were almost universally optimistic, regardless of political party.
Almost all of the respondents in general, 81 percent, said they felt optimistic about their personal financial futures—83 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans. Eighty-four percent of the total respondents said their lives were headed in the right direction—including 86 percent of Democrats and 84 percent of Republicans.
Americans don’t feel so universally confident when asked about particular financial issues, however.
Just 27 percent of general respondents felt they were managing their retirement planning responsibility “well.” Twenty-six percent of Democrats said they were and 25 percent of Republicans. Similarly, when asked if they had their arms around planning for their family’s future, only 30 percent of the population said yes—27 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of Republicans.
Americans reported doing a little better with their planning and budgeting responsibilities. More than two-fifths of the total respondents, 41 percent, said they had budgeting in hand, including 38 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of Republicans.