Only Half of Americans Have ‘Good Savings Habits’

Only Half of Americans Have ‘Good Savings Habits’It’s time again to review our savings habits as part of America Saves Week, an annual awareness campaign organized by pro-consumer, non-profit organizations.
A survey to mark the occasion finds that only about half of Americans reported good savings habits.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) reported they “have sufficient emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses like car repairs or a doctor visit.”
America Saves is managed by the Consumer Federation of America, and the American Savings Education Council (ASEC),
“The recession still has not ended for millions of American families,” said Stephen Brobeck, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and a founder of America Saves.  “Many working families are still suffering from high unemployment rates, stagnant incomes, and a housing market that is just beginning to recover.”
Brobeck said that more than 1,000 organizations that have signed up to participate in America Saves Week recognize this problem and are helping families “to save and improve their finances.”
“More than half of Baby Boomer and Gen-Xers will be able to retire with enough money to cover the cost of basic retirement needs as well as uninsured health care costs, assuming they retire at age 65 and retain any net housing equity in retirement until other financial resources are depleted,” said Dallas Salisbury, chairman of ASEC and president and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
But a significant number are at risk of running short of money in retirement, Salisbury said. “They know they need to save more,” he said.
Here are other key findings:

  • 54% said they “have a savings plan with specific goals.”
  • 43% said they “have a spending plan that allows you to save enough money to achieve the goals of your saving plan.”
  • 50% of those not retired said they “save for retirement at work through a 401(k) or other contributory plan.”
  • 41% said that, “outside of work,” they “save automatically through regular preauthorized transfers from checking to savings or investments.”
  • 49% know their net worth.

While nearly two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) reported they “have sufficient emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses like car repairs or a doctor visit,” only 49 percent of the non-retired said they are “saving enough for a retirement in which you will have a desirable standard of living.”

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