A few articles ago I mentioned offhand that the average US personal savings rate is a shameful 1%. Had I bothered to research it, I’d have found that it’s up 3.5%, according to the St. Louis Fed. That means the average “consumer unit” saves about $2,200 per year. Not bad, but it makes the following fact even more startling:
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling finds that 64% of Americans would have to go into debt or sell off possessions to cover a $1,000 emergency, due to lack of savings. That’s just $1,000! If you’ve ever been to the ER, you know how far $1,000 gets you. (A bandaid)
Here’s another scary one:
42% of workers surveyed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute haven’t calculated how much money they will need in retirement, and say they simply guessed at the figure.
This is surprising to me because what might be the most important thing for you to know about your financial future is pretty easy to figure out.
AARP has the best retirement planning calculator on the internet. Don’t laugh. If you’re anything like the Americans surveyed above, you’ll probably be eligible to join AARP long before you’ve saved enough to retire!
I’m not posting this stuff to scare or depress you, but to let you know how easy it is to not be a statistic. Figure out your long-term financial goals. Make an emergency fund. Spend consciously (less than you earn) on things that bring you value and happiness.
Background for this article: I saw some facts like this on reddit, but with no sources listed. I decided to find the sources instead of just copy/pasting it onto here.