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RISMEDIA, February 1, 2010—A new study released by Bankrate, Inc. shows that the majority of Americans think wealth is beyond their reach and that it won’t be easier to get rich any time soon. The poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, is included in the new Bankrate Financial Literacy series on How to Prosper.

Among the findings:
-70% of Americans believe that it is more difficult to get rich today than it was in the past;

-More than half of those surveyed believe it will be even more difficult to get rich in America in the next ten years while 24% think it will be about as difficult as it is now;

-When asked about the likelihood of getting rich personally, one-third of Americans say ‘it’s very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ they will attain wealth. But 63% say it’s ‘not too likely’ or ‘not at all likely’ they’ll get rich;

-Only 21% of Americans see traditional investment as a feasible route to wealth, with 12% who believe investing well in stocks and bonds will provide them with financial freedom and 9% who think that investing in real estate is the best way to get rich;

-Family is the primary motivator for Americans to strive for prosperity as 41% of respondents said their reason for wanting wealth is to provide a better life and future for their children and 18% said they’d like to be rich to take care of their parents and other family members;

-Equal numbers of Americans see “job loss or income reduction” or “too many bills and not enough income” as the main obstacles to achieving wealth, with each choice being selected by 27% of respondents. The Credit CARD Act may be a bit too late as 11% blamed credit card debt for wealth seeming out of reach;

-In spite of the respondents’ concerns about accumulating wealth, only 52% of those polled say that they save consistently;

-It’s not all bleak news, however: 95% of Americans say they are taking one or more steps to secure their financial future, with 75% saying they have cut back on purchases to save more and 78% saying they are avoiding buying “luxury goods or unnecessary items.”

“Many Americans aren’t necessarily buying into the country’s long-held belief that anyone with a dream can strike it rich,” said Julie Bandy, editor in chief at Bankrate.com. “However, by recognizing that a windfall isn’t around the corner for most of us, consumers can begin taking real, actionable steps towards making a brighter financial future. If you can do things like save consistently and pay down the principal on a mortgage, financial comfort may not be as far away as it seems.”

For more information, visit www.bankrate.com.

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