The Pulse

Middle Income Malaise

From the gas pump to groceries, consumers are experiencing higher prices

The Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor – a national survey of middle-income families measuring their financial situation, is conducted and provided by Primerica, Inc. The full study is available here.

DULUTH, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI), a leading provider of financial services in the U.S. and Canada, is releasing its latest quarterly Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor – a national survey of middle-income families measuring their financial situation.

The survey found that 65% of middle-income families feel positive about their current financial situation; however, an equal share (65%) says their income is falling behind the cost of living, up 9% from April. Primerica’s Financial Security Monitor measures changes in the sentiments of middle-income families about their finances.

“We’re encouraged that most middle-income families are optimistic about their financial situations, although they are feeling the pressure of rising inflation,” said Glenn J. Williams, CEO of Primerica. “We also see that more than half of these families are taking responsibility to improve their financial situation by saving for the future and protecting their families with life insurance, and even more families are considering taking similar actions. These steps are especially important today, as people are reporting increased prices on everything from gas to eating out to going to the movies.”

Key Findings from Primerica’s U.S. Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor

  • Nearly everyone has noticed increasing costs of goods and services. This includes gas (94%), local home prices (92%), groceries (91%), housing costs (90%), restaurants/bars (84%), health care (80%), entertainment – movies, sporting events, concerts (75%), taxes (73%), and childcare (73%).Additionally, concern about paying for food and groceries has grown from 12% to 17% in the past year.
  • About half have life insurance, but Covid-19 is increasing interest among middle-income families. About half (53%) of individuals report having life insurance, and 19% have life insurance policies outside of work of $100K or less, 10% have policies between $100-$300K, and 4% have policies worth more than $400K. Among those who do not have a life insurance policy outside of work, 10% of say they are more interested in finding out about purchasing life insurance because of Covid-19.
  • Topline Trends Data: As concerns over rising inflation are starting to emerge, middle-income consumers remain positive about their personal finances.

Aug. 2021

Apr. 2021

Dec. 2020

Sep. 2020

More say their income is falling behind the cost of living.





Fewer anticipate being financially better off a year from now.





Fewer are saving enough for a comfortable retirement.





More feel it will be difficult to save for the future.





About the same say their personal finances are in good shape.








About Primerica’s Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor
The Monitor is a quarterly national survey to monitor the financial health of those with annual household incomes of $30,000-$100,000 in 2020. Change Research conducted online polling from July 27 through August 5, 2021. Using Dynamic Online Sampling, Change Research polled 841 adults. Post-stratification weights were made on gender, age, race, education and Census region to reflect the population of these adults based on the five-year averages in the 2018 American Community Survey published by the U.S. Census. The margin of error is 4.3%.
About Primerica, Inc.
Primerica is a leading provider of financial services to middle-income households in the United States and Canada. Licensed financial representatives educate Primerica clients about how to prepare for a more secure financial future by assessing their needs and providing appropriate products like term life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, and other financial products. Primerica insured over 5.5 million people and had over 2.6 million client investment accounts as of December 31, 2020. Primerica was the #2 issuer of Term Life insurance coverage in North America in 2019 through its insurance company subsidiaries. Primerica stock is included in the S&P MidCap 400 and the Russell 1000 stock indices and is traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRI.”