Keeping standard of living a worry - poll

Americans are worried about maintaining their lifestyles over the next year in a tumultuous economic environment, CNN/Opinion Research finds.

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By Paul Steinhauser, CNN

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Americans are losing confidence in their ability to keep their current standard of living, a new national poll indicates.

Thirty-nine percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday say they're very confident they'll be able to maintain their standard of living over the next year. That's down 6 points from last year.

Half of all homeowners with a mortgage say they are very confident that they can continue to meet their mortgage payments, but that is also down, by 8 points, since last year. Americans' confidence in their ability to pay other debts, such as credit cards and car loans, has also dropped in the past year.

And there is much less confidence in being able to save for specific goals. Only one in four parents of children younger than 18 say they are very confident in their ability to pay for college. And only one in five Americans who have not already retired say they are very confident in their ability to save enough to retire comfortably.

"As the nation's economy has gotten worse, Americans' confidence in their own economic prospects has slipped, and it is lowest when it comes to long-term goals such as saving for college or retirement," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The public is fairly confident on personal matters such as paying off mortgages or other debts and on maintaining their standard of living, but the last year has seen a worrisome erosion of confidence."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted March 12-15, with 1,019 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. To top of page

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