America Saves Week is about to start

A piggy bank

America Saves Week is about to kick off in the hopes that people will start putting more away. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Americans don’t tend to squirrel away enough money for a rainy day or for retirement. However, the Consumer Federation of America and American Savings Education Council want to do something about that during America Saves Week.

Another 51 weeks of the year to worry about

Among the many criticisms leveled at the typical American about personal finances is that hardly anyone saves enough money, either in case of emergency or for their retirement. Indeed, according to Forbes, the share of income that the typical person socked away has fallen significantly during the past 60 years or so. It is estimated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, part of the Department of Commerce, that the typical savings rate in 1960 was about 8 percent and, though it fluctuates wildly over time, reached a nadir of about 1 percent around 2005.

In order to convince people to turn the ship around, the Consumer Federation of America and American Savings Education Council rolled out the America Saves Week campaign in 2007, according to the America Saves Week website, to get people into saving money. America Saves Week 2012 is rapidly approaching, running from Feb. 19 to Feb 26.

Many struggling to put away

A survey by the CFA, according to Reuters, found that 66 percent of the 1,007 respondents were spending less than they were earning, a 7 percent drop from 2010’s survey. The 2 percent decline in real wages over 2011 is thought to be among the prime culprit.

[A lot of people also have to get a payday loan every now and again too]

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Commerce Department reported a Personal Savings Rate in Dec. 2011 was 4 percent. In Sept. 2011, according to Reuters, it was 3.6 percent, and the savings rate for the last quarter of the calendar year represented a 29 percent decline in the savings rate from the same period in 2010. In other words, fewer people are able or willing to put money away.

Worrisome to many

The National Endowment for Financial Education found in a 2011 survey that 70 percent of respondents felt that their inability to save enough money was their biggest obstacle to retirement, according to Reuters.

Furthermore, the Employee Benefits Research Institute found in its 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey that only 24 percent of respondents had more than $100,000 saved for their retirement and 56 percent of respondents had less than $25,000 saved, according to Daily Finance.

According to Reuters, a Sun Life Financial survey found only 23 percent of respondents felt confident in being able to meet basic expenses during their retirement.

Sources

Forbes

Reuters

Forbes

Daily Finance: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/02/15/she-saved-280-000-for-retirement-you-can-do-better/

Los Angeles Times: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/31/business/la-fi-consumer-income-20120131

Reuters: http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-money/2011/10/19/retirement-confidence-falls-especially-in-social-security-poll/

America Saves Week: http://www.americasavesweek.org/

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