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Are you better off than you were four years ago? NO!

Upstate New Yorkers answered with a resounding "No" when they were polled earlier this month on whether they think they're financially better off than they were four years ago.

More than half of the upstate residents - 51 percent to be precise - polled by the Siena Research Institute said they were not better off financially than they were in October 2008. Just 34 percent - a little more than a third - said they were better off, while 14 percent said they were in a similar financial condition.

The poll from the Albany researcher, with financial backing from First Niagara Bank, also found that wealthier people generally are feeling better about their financial condition than less affluent New Yorkers.

While almost half (48 percent) of all New Yorkers earning more than $100,000 said they were better off now than they were four years ago, a little more than a third (36 percent) of those earning $50,000 to $100,000 felt they were in a better financial place, and only three of every 10 residents earning less than $50,000 believed they were better off.

More than a third of the Upstate residents surveyed (35 percent) said they'd taken a second job or sought more overtime to help make ends meet. And 47 percent said they were having a harder time managing their monthly expenses with their monthly income.

"New Yorkers continue to climb a steep financial hill," said Don Levy, the Siena Research Institute's director. "Few say that their load has lightened since this time in 2008."

Fewer than half of the upstate residents surveyed (46 percent) said they were confident that they'd be able to maintain their current standard of living after they'd retired. That's in stark contrast to New York City, where almost three of every five people surveyed said they were confident they'd be able to retire comfortably.

- David Robinson




Economy | Personal Finance
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