Twenty-six percent of Americans – just over one in four – have no emergency savings, according to a new Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE) report. Sixty-seven percent have saved less than the recommended six months’ worth of expenses and half have saved less than three months’ expenses. The percentage of Americans with at least three months’ expenses in savings declined from 45% last year to just 40% this year.
“Americans continue to show a stunning lack of progress in accumulating sufficient emergency savings,” said Greg McBride, CFA, 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.”
People between ages 30 and 49 are more likely than any other age group to have no emergency savings. However, 18-30 year-olds are the most likely to have up to five months’ expenses saved up. Why the contrast? McBride explains, “Many of those under age 30 have the benefit of lower expenses due to roommates, living with their parents or being students. Ages 30 through 49 are high-spending years when expenses often rise faster than emergency savings can keep up.”
Bankrate.com also announced that its Financial Security Index rebounded to 101.5, which indicates improvement over one year ago. Job security bounced back from a negative reading last month. Currently, 24% of Americans feel more secure in their jobs than they did 12 months ago versus 17% who feel less secure. May’s bout of employment insecurity now stands out as an anomaly amid upbeat attitudes on job security in six of the past seven months.
Americans’ comfort level with debt also recovered after two months of discomfort. Twenty-three percent are more comfortable than they were in June 2013 and 20% are less comfortable.
Among the Financial Security Index’s other three components, net worth and overall financial situation are areas of strength, particularly as the stock market continues setting new record highs. Savings remains a weak spot and has been in negative territory every month since polling began in December 2010.
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:
PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,004 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (503) and cell phone (501, including 301 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from June 5-8, 2014. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
About Bankrate, Inc.
Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, our flagship website, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including CreditCards.com, Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsuranceQuotes.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, InsureMe, Bankrate.com.cn, CreditCards.ca, NetQuote.com, and CD.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of nearly 600 local markets in all 50 U.S. states, Bankrate generates over 172,000 distinct rate tables capturing on average over three million pieces of information daily. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 80 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, AOL, CNBC, and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe.