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A September 2019 survey by CFP Board and Morning Consult found that 55 percent of adults believe a recession will occur in the next year but those who have enlisted the help of a financial advisor, and have a written financial plan, feel more confident that they can weather an economic storm.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of adults working with a financial advisor said they feel more prepared now for a potential recession than they did in 2008. When looking specifically at those who work with a CFP® professional, 73 percent of respondents said they feel more prepared now than they did in 2008.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Consumers are generally optimistic—59 percent have an optimistic view of their household or personal financial situations while 52 percent are optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy;
  • However, nearly two-thirds of adults (63 percent) are concerned about the possibility of an economic recession, with a quarter (25 percent) who said that they are very concerned;
  • Seventy-six percent said a recession would have an impact on their household, while more than a third (36 percent) said it would have a major impact.

Download the full survey report

The survey showed three key themes when it comes to consumers’ views on a recession:

1. Financial advisors have made a difference in making people feel prepared.

Adults working with a financial advisor (67 percent) are much more likely to say they would feel prepared for a recession than those who are not working with a financial advisor (38 percent). What’s more, 59 percent of people working with an advisor say that a recession is likely to have minor to no impact on their household and three-quarters (77 percent) said they are confident their advisor would successfully manage their finances through a recession.

2. Women are more concerned by and feel less prepared for a recession.

Sixty-eight percent of women, compared with 58 percent of men, said that they were concerned about a potential recession. When asked whether they were prepared for such an outcome, 51 percent of men replied in the affirmative, compared to only 36 percent of women – although these numbers do improve when posed to men and women who work with financial advisors. According to the survey, 77 percent of men and 58 percent of women with a financial advisor said they would feel prepared for a recession, representing 26-point and 22-point increases, respectively.

3. Homeowners feel more prepared for the next recession.

Fifty-one percent of homeowners, compared with 36 percent of non-homeowners, feel more financially prepared for a recession than they did during 2008. Overall, homeowners have much more confidence about their finances and recession preparedness than those who don’t own a home. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of homeowners feel optimistic about their personal or household financial situation, a 16-point difference from non-homeowners (51 percent).

Survey Methodology

This polling was conducted from September 17-18, 2019 among a national sample of 2,196 Adults and from September 24-26, 2019 among a national sample of 2,200 Adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of Adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the both surveys have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.