Survey: Living in DC area hurts financial futures for residents

WASHINGTON — We all want that big nest egg or piggy bank, but living in the D.C. area makes achieving those goals much more difficult.

We have rosy outlooks on our financial futures. Slightly more than 70 percent say they are either very confident or somewhat confident about reaching financial goals, according to a recent Charles Schwab survey.

However, 44 percent of people say living in the D.C., area hurts their ability to reach those goals. Only 24 percent say it helps and 21 percent say it didn’t matter.

These concerns have an impact on how we save or spend our money.

About 40 percent specifically stated the local cost of living as making the biggest impact on personal financial decisions with the national economic outlook a distant second at 15 percent.

When it comes to what we save for, we are keeping it safe.

Residents in the D.C. area are focused on saving for retirement (62 percent) and emergencies (50 percent). Vacation funds, buying a new home, college costs for the kids and medical expenses were also a top saving priority for roughly 20 to 30 percent of respondents.

The top obstacle to saving for retirement or the emergency fund is, again, cost of living, at least for 46 percent of the respondents.

About a third say paying off debt is a focus while a quarter say nothing is stopping them from saving for the future.

The survey is based on online responses from 1,000 people from D.C. between March 28 and April 8, 2016.

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