Only 55% of Americans are comfortable asking for help with money issues

NEW YORK — For some people, it can be hard to accept help when the going gets tough. Three out of four Americans (75%) think they’re great helpers, but only half (55%) say they’re good at asking for help themselves – particularly when it comes to their financial struggles.

That’s according to a survey of 2,000 respondents, which found that 30 percent prefer to solve problems on their own, while only 22 percent prefer to ask for help. If struggling financially, 36 percent would have a harder time asking for help if they were struggling financially, including more women than men (30% vs. 24%).

In fact, results indicate that the average respondent would have a harder time borrowing a large amount of money from a loved one (47%) than they would giving a public speech (46%). Similarly, those polled would have a harder time asking a stranger for money (37%) than for directions (26%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Amerilife, the survey found that 69 percent believe they have above-average knowledge of financial awareness, which primarily came from their parents (43%), spouse (39%), and friends (37%). 

Although half (48%) would use the term “straightforward” to describe the concept of finances, others called them “confusing” (27%) and “nerve-wracking” (34%). When asked what kind of professional advisor they’d want to help them change their life, one in three (32%) said they’d want a financial advisor, making it the most popular selection – more so than career development (26%) or dating advice (11%).

Meanwhile, if asking a friend for financial help, respondents would rather be taught about finances (26%) than just receive cash (23%). They’d also be more likely to go to their spouse for financial help over anybody else in their life (41%), and just as likely to consult their parents (32%) as they would a professional financial advisor (32%).

young wife holding money next to dissatisfied husband
young wife holding money next to dissatisfied husband (© alfa27 – stock.adobe.com)

“There are a lot of tough questions we face in life, and oftentimes, many of them revolve around managing and protecting our finances,” says founder and CEO of Brookstone Capital Management, Dean Zayed, in a statement. “While for some this may feel out of reach, it’s heartening to know that there is a strong desire by most Americans to become more knowledgeable, take back control of their financial wellbeing, and secure their financial legacies.”

Of the 43 percent who consider themselves to be financially free, 59 percent intend to seek out passive income opportunities and 58 percent plan to maintain their freedom with investment-making.

The 36 percent who don’t yet have financial freedom cited monthly bills and financial obligations (51%), not making enough money (48%), or having too much debt (38%) as being their biggest barriers. 

“These results reinforce the incredibly important need to seek help and advice from a financial professional and the value that one can bring to their clients,” says Chief Distribution Officer of Wealth Distribution for AmeriLife, Mike Vietri, in a statement. “Financial freedom is within reach, and I believe that with the right support from a trusted advisor, Americans can work to achieve their financial goals.” 

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 U.S. adults was commissioned by Amerilife between June 8 and June 12, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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About the Author

Sophia Naughton

Meet StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. Sophia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication directly focused in journalism and advertising. She is also a freelance writer for Baltimore Magazine. Outside of writing, her best buddy is her spotted Pit Bull, Terrance.

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