By Craig Erwin, Ph.D. 12-8-20
The Federal Reserve, which is the US central bank, found that 46% of Americans would not be able to come up with $400 to handle an emergency. The personal savings rate in the US is usually quite low. But, it does tend to rise and fall somewhat with economic conditions. When there is an economic disaster such as the 2008 financial/housing meltdown or the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is challenging for many people to save anything. As the economy rebounds and the unemployment rate falls, it should become easier for most people to save. However, in July 2017 the US personal savings rate was only 3.5%, the lowest since April, 2008 (during a devastating recession), shocking considering that the US economy had been growing for nine years, with wages rising modestly as well.
Northwestern Mutual (an insurance company) determined that “21% of Americans have no retirement savings and an additional 10% have under $5,000 in savings. What’s more, roughly a third of Baby Boomers at or approaching retirement age have between nothing and $25,000 set aside. Other studies have resulted in similar conclusions; far too many Americans have little to no money saved. To make matters worse, they tend to save little or nothing. This would be troubling in the best of times, but it is especially frightening in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic, when record numbers of people are losing their jobs and need medical attention.
Saving money is harder for some people than others. It is especially hard for many women. Women face an array of disadvantages in trying to save money. One in three American women either live in poverty or are dangerously close to it, which makes saving money nearly impossible. Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. And many women are single mothers. For more information on the disadvantages women face, visit https://assetfunders.org/resource/women-wealth-insights-grantmakers/.
Regardless of your financial situation, save, save, save! The single most important factor determining how much money one has to retire on is how much she saved. So, can you think of a better thing to do than to save till it hurts? For more information on how to get started saving and investing, visit https://womenretire.com/the-best-way-for-most-of-us-to-accumulate-wealth-dollar-cost-averaging/
Check out the following video for a discussion of how to avoid having to live frugally in retirement.Video details – YouTube Studiohttps://studio.youtube.com/video/e_sBtJHuZRQ/edit