Do you have at least $10,000 saved for retirement? If so, congratulations, you’ve managed to put away more than 40% of all working-age Americans. A recent survey from Bankrate.com found that despite the brisk jobs market and increasing wages, Americans still aren’t saving much. Only 16% of survey respondents stated they saved at least the recommended 15% of their earnings, while 40% report saving none to just 5%.
Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate stated that while the economy might be prospering now, it won’t last forever. “With a steady, significant share of the working population saving nothing or relatively little, it’s virtually guaranteed that they’ll be unable to afford a modest emergency expense or finance retirement,” Hamrick said. The main reason American’s aren’t saving? Expenses. It seems obvious that “Expenses” would be a prime reason for not saving among those on the lower rungs of the income ladder, but shockingly, “Expenses” is also the biggest reason why members of the upper middle class don’t save enough as well. These folks live beyond their means in McMansions, take hugely expensive frequent vacations, eat out too often and drive unnecessarily fancy automobiles.
Bankrate’s blunt advice: downsize your house, sell the cars, stay home more often and – most importantly – live below your means so that there’s always something left over to save.