news.cuna.org/articles/Half_of_Americans_have_little_to_no_emergency_savings:_Bankrate

Half of Americans have little to no emergency savings: Bankrate

June 24, 2014

NEW YORK (6/25/14)--More than a quarter of the U.S. population has not saved a dime for emergency situations, according to a Bankrate.com report released Monday.

In addition, two-thirds of Americans have saved less than the equivalent of six months' worth of expenses--the recommended emergency savings balance--and half have put away less than three months' worth (Bankrate.com June 23).

The number of people who have stocked up enough savings to cover the cost of three months of expenses dropped to 40% this year from 45%.

"Americans continue to show a stunning lack of progress in accumulating sufficient emergency savings," said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst. "Even among the highest-income households--those with annual income of $75,000 or above--fewer than half (46%) currently have a six-month savings cushion."

Adults age 30 to 49 are the least likely to have any emergency savings, the report found. On the other hand, the 18-to-30 demographic is the most likely to have at least five months' worth of expenses saved.

McBride says the reason for the disparity is that "many of those under the age of 30 have the benefit of lower expenses due to roommates, living with their parents or being students," while those in the 30-to-49 bracket are living through their "high-spending" years when expenses climb at a fast clip.

Meanwhile, Bankrate.com also reported this week that its Financial Security Index rebounded to 101.5 this month, indicating an "improvement over one year ago" and mirroring the positive consumer sentiment report released by the Conference Board Tuesday. (See related story: Despite modest income growth, June consumer confidence jumps.)

Within the survey results, 24% of respondents feel more secure in their jobs than they did a year ago, compared with 17% who feel less secure. And 23% are more comfortable with debt than they were in June 2013, while 20% have become less comfortable.

Net worth and overall financial health also both posted strong survey results, according to Bankrate.com.

"Savings remains a weak spot and has been in negative territory every month since polling began in December 2010," Bankrate.com said.

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