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Most Americans have less than $1000 in savings?
Old 10-07-2015, 08:09 AM   #1
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Most Americans have less than $1000 in savings?

Scary stuff here! I didn't really wake up and start saving until I was 42, but I already had military retirement locked in. Looks like we are headed to a nation of abject poverty in a decade or two.......

Most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings - MarketWatch
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:17 AM   #2
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Their question was “How much money do you have saved in your savings account?”

I'd answer: $0

It's been a long time since I've had a "savings account"
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:17 AM   #3
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For a few years I managed a small law firm and that included overseeing payroll. We gave a small (10%) match to 401 K contributions. I convinced one of the clerical employees to start a 401 K - it was a very small amount per check. A short while later she came in to thank me as for the first time in her life she had over $100 in savings.
Another employee was a lawyer, married to a lawyer, who likewise was not participating and I convinced her to start. She also thanked me, later, telling me she didn't realize how "easy" savings could be when it was automatically taken out of the paycheck.
It is scary how people cannot find the will to start any sort of savings plan.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:23 AM   #4
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I agree that we do not know the methodology that was used.....a small sample size as well. But I have two children in their early 30's, and one is dead broke, the other I'm not sure of, but doubt he has $1000 net worth. Based on my own kids and those of my friends and associates this article got my attention.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Their question was “How much money do you have saved in your savings account?”

I'd answer: $0

It's been a long time since I've had a "savings account"
+1. Pretty thin article. We can't assume anything about the net worth of those polled by the question they were asked. For example, some may have substantial pensions or 401k's, and no "savings account." We haven't had a traditional savings account for more than 10 years.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:26 AM   #6
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Im a bit squishy on factoid material like this ...lots of poll context left out ...I look at finance.yahoo during the day to watch market top line numbers ...and note there are dozens of end of the world "articles" like this. Just not sure they are there to accurately inform.


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Old 10-07-2015, 08:39 AM   #7
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More meaningless 'journalism'. We can't tell anything from this.

I also have little in 'savings' (depending how that is defined). And if I'm hit with an emergency expense, I will almost certainly use my credit card to pay. That gives me the float time to decide where to draw the funds from.

I don't doubt that many households do not manage their money in such a way as to be able to smoothly handle a short term $ emergency, but this article won't get you to that number. There was a similar article a year or two ago, similar twisty wording.

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Old 10-07-2015, 08:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
For a few years I managed a small law firm and that included overseeing payroll. We gave a small (10%) match to 401 K contributions. I convinced one of the clerical employees to start a 401 K - it was a very small amount per check. A short while later she came in to thank me as for the first time in her life she had over $100 in savings.
Another employee was a lawyer, married to a lawyer, who likewise was not participating and I convinced her to start. She also thanked me, later, telling me she didn't realize how "easy" savings could be when it was automatically taken out of the paycheck.
It is scary how people cannot find the will to start any sort of savings plan.
Wow. I guess I should be really thankful for my mom. She first taught me the value of saving (my small allowance) back when I was in grade school. When I got my first job, the first thing she told me after saying her congratulations was "It's not how much you earn, it's how much you keep."

While I'm nowhere near the super saver she is (I'm still amazed how she was able to save more than PhP1,000,000 on a PhP6,000-15,000/month salary solely through cash savings - no stocks or bonds), and I burnt through a large part of my income and cash savings in my mid to late 20s, those lessons have remained and I'm making a big effort now to save more than I spend. That said, she's way too risk averse so now I'm encouraging her to invest.
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:35 AM   #9
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It's been a long time since I had a "savings account".

I'd use the Fed's Survey of Consumer Finances to get a snapshot of assets.
FRB: Survey of Consumer Finances
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:13 AM   #10
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I have always had a desire to save, and it's always been automatic. In fact, I am somewhat stressed by not doing so. I am 33 and have one brother and one sister. Both of them seem to be the same as me - all of us have accumulated cash net worth of about our income levels within the first 10 years of working. Adopting a lifestyle of living on only a portion of what we make and saving the rest. Now that I have kids I've really tried to dissect why this is, for the sake of hopefully passing on to my own kids whatever it is my parents did to the three of us to make us savers.

I've even asked my parents for their own input... from this all I've concluded the following are the key factors. None of which is really taught to children today in school or by their parents. I think unfortunately (for whatever reason) the concept of money and talking about it in education is taboo, and that's a sad thing.

1) My parents never talked about money as a negative thing. It was never described as something they missed or were without. We grew up modestly, but never felt poor. [I believe this is key in not associating money with happiness. I think those who talk excessively about wanting more or not having enough actually create a stress around the idea of money with their kids... so kids grow up less interested in really understanding how it works]

2) My father took our allowance and birthday/holiday money from family and automatically put it into what he called "The Bank of Dad" where we ran excel spreadsheets showing us bi-weekly interest. Each of us got a print out. I remember at 10 saving these and looking at the rate at which my interest was growing. Without understanding complex math, I quickly discovered that my money was making me more money, and I liked that. [It really clicked in this... for me. I'm reminded of Einstein's quote about the most powerful force in the universe...]
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:14 AM   #11
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+1. Pretty thin article. We can't assume anything about the net worth of those polled by the question they were asked.
Seems to be a lot of "pretty thin articles" around lately.

Apparently, anyone can just cobble up some info on Google, make some wild assumptions and publish a biased article.

Too bad, because a lot of people take this fluff as gospel and can screw up their lives on this crap sometimes.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:59 AM   #12
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“It’s worrisome that such a large percentage of Americans have so little set aside in a savings account,” says Cameron Huddleston, a personal finance analyst for the site. “They likely don’t have cash reserves to cover an emergency and will have to rely on credit, friends and family, or even their retirement accounts to cover unexpected expenses.”
When asked about CDs, money market accounts, and treasury bonds, Huddleston stuck his fingers in his ears and started singing "Lalalalalalala!"

Because the only options are savings accounts, or retirement accounts that you can't touch until retirement, or else you can't have an article. Who's going to let facts get in the way of clickbait?
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:08 AM   #13
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In another thread, we talked about some statistics showing that 1 out of 10 geezer couples is multimillionaire. At the same time, maybe 1 in 10 is broke. The two statements do not have to be contradictory at all, and just two facets of life.
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:32 PM   #14
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Being raised by Depression era parents that isn't an issue for me. Even in my early 20's (1970's) I kept a minimum of $500 in the bank - where's the money coming from if the transmission falls out of my car? According to this inflation calculator that's equivalent to $2,417 now.

Frankly, I'm embarrassed by how much is in a credit union savings account now at a paltry interest rate. But DW is more conservative than I am and it lets her sleep at night so there is value in that.
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:56 PM   #15
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There is much better data based on real facts for average retirement savings. In reality it averages a six figure sum. This article is based on weasel wording for shock value ( aka Faux News).


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Old 10-07-2015, 08:20 PM   #16
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When a stranger calls me to ask out of the blue about how much money I have, if I cannot evade the call, I'm sure to give very low answers. Yes, I have nothing saved. Oh, yes, I have lots of debt. No, I have no valuable consumer electronics in my house.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Their question was “How much money do you have saved in your savings account?”

I'd answer: $0

It's been a long time since I've had a "savings account"
+1

These articles come out twice a year. Sorry but I think all the stories of our imminent demise are greatly over exaggerated
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:43 PM   #18
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When a stranger calls me to ask out of the blue about how much money I have, if I cannot evade the call, I'm sure to give very low answers. Yes, I have nothing saved. Oh, yes, I have lots of debt. No, I have no valuable consumer electronics in my house.
Just a six pack, a shotgun and a couple of pit bulls.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:50 PM   #19
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In the future, Walmart shouldn't have problems getting door greeters and Taco Bell shouldn't have problems finding retirees to clean up their tables.

The vast majority of retirees will have personal debt on cars and houses and no retirement savings to live on. They'll be working until their health fails.

And all many workers had to do when they were 25 years old is "pay themselves first" on 401k's and invest a little in IRA's/Roth IRA's.
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:43 AM   #20
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I don't know we can or should easily discount this article...
I've got established colleagues with business degrees who don't own any mutual funds and nary a share of stock outside of their 401k. Spending as we all know is easy, saving not so much. I'm sure If we didn't offer a 401k they would have nothing.

"30% of retirees are fully dependent on SS." Heard that on public radio a few days ago...That to me is very scary.
It can and has to be done by many but my god it has to be difficult.


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