That’s according to a CreditCards.com poll, which finds that money woes in general are costing Americans plenty of shuteye, with 65 percent of them saying that the sheep just aren’t helping when it comes to money woes.
In fact, money worries are approaching the nightmare status not seen since the Great Recession, when 2009 survey results indicated that 69 percent of people were unable to sleep because of them. That was up from 2007’s 56 percent—and while the number of sleepless in Seattle and elsewhere dropped back a bit after the Great Recession, in both 2015 and 2016 it was at 62 percent.
The top cause for money worries is health care and insurance, keeping 38 percent of respondents awake. CreditCards.com has conducted this money worries poll five times since 2007, and this is the first time health care issues have taken the top spot for inducing insomnia.
But the close second in inducing sleepless nights is retirement, with 37 percent spending the wee hours pacing the floor and worrying that they’re not saving enough for retirement instead of snoozing. Sadly, GenXers seem the most affected, with nearly half saying that retirement money worries keep them up at night.
Although the number has fallen just a hair—in 2016 39 percent of respondents said they were worried about retirement—the reason could be the fault of the rise in student loan debt, which is causing a corresponding rise in the number of people unable to close their eyes at night lest they see only unpaid tuition bills. Thirty-four percent say they’re losing sleep over paying their own or someone else’s educational expenses, and that’s an increase from 30 percent in 2016 and 27 percent in 2009.
CreditCards.com predicts in the report that those student loan debt worries are going to “increasingly feed into retirement anxiety as the cost of education continues to rise”—not a pretty picture.
“There are only so many dollars that can be saved in a person’s budget, and a lot of those are not going toward retirement,” Martin Lynch, director of education at Cambridge Credit Counseling, is quoted saying in the report. Lynch adds, “You wind up with a lot of people who are struggling to make ends meet in retirement.”