Poll Finds Two-Thirds of Us Have Little or No Emergency Savings
If you faced a sudden emergency and had to come up with $1,000 cash in a hurry, could you do it easily? Or would it be a struggle?
If coming up with $1,000 in a pinch would be difficult for you, you’re not alone. A recent Associated Press poll of Americans from all walks of life revealed that two-thirds of respondents would find it a significant challenge. These financial stresses span all income levels, according to the survey, which described the results as “a signal that despite years of recovery from the Great Recession, Americans’ financial condition remains precarious as ever.”
You can click here to read the article in the Seattle Times detailing the survey results. It makes for some sobering reading.
The survey reported that three-quarters of people in households earning $50,000 or less would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an unexpected expense. Even those with higher incomes, in the $50,000 to $100,000 bracket, would have almost the same difficulty, with two-thirds saying it would be tough to lay their hands on emergency cash. And do you think the nation’s wealthiest 20 percent would answer differently? Think again: nearly forty percent would have at least some difficulty coming up with $1,000 for an emergency.
“Having a modest, immediately available emergency fund is widely recognized as critical to financial health,” says the Seattle Times article. Even a modest amount of emergency savings helps protect families, prevent evictions and build confidence.
As for those who say they couldn’t easily generate that $1,000 in emergency cash, their options if they needed to would be less than ideal. About one-third of respondents report they would borrow from a bank or from friends or family, or pull out the plastic and charge it. A bit more than one in ten say, if faced with a $1,000 emergency bill, they would find some way to skip paying it entirely.
According to the Times piece, this savings crisis is definitely not a new phenomenon. The article cites three other studies going back to the mid 1990’s that report a majority of Americans had little or no cash on hand for an emergency reserve. Another study from 2015, this one done by the Federal Reserve, reported similar findings: in that report, almost half of those responding could not easily cover even a $400 unanticipated expense.
Here’s one final statistic we found especially eye-opening – and it ties directly in with our work here at AgingOptions. The same Associated Press report stated that over half of all Americans doubt they will have enough savings to retire when they want to. Only one American adult in seven states they are “confident they can retire on time,” says the Times.
If retirement is your goal, then planning should be your priority. That’s where we come in. Here at AgingOptions we work with clients of all income levels and professions to help them enter their retirement years with confidence, optimism and security. We call that kind of retirement plan a LifePlan. It encompasses all aspects of retirement planning: your financial preparation, your legal affairs, your family relationships, your housing choices and your health care needs. If that sounds daunting, it doesn’t have to be. We have a simple and easy way for you to get started.
It’s called a LifePlanning Seminar, and it’s a free information-packed session designed to help you begin designing the blueprint for a secure retirement. We invite you to attend a LifePlanning Seminar in your area soon. Click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website and register. We’ll look forward to meeting you soon.
Our ultimate hope for you is that, no matter what emergencies may come your way in life – you’ll be prepared, in every possible way!
(originally reported at www.seattletimes.com)