Survey: U.S. Households Report Only Modest Savings Progress

Only 40 percent of U.S. households are making good or excellent progress toward their savings goals, according to the America Saves Week survey released today. Only 49 percent of those surveyed are saving at least 5 percent of their annual income, while only a little over half believe they are saving enough for retirement.

The survey identified a gap between men and women when it came to savings progress, which can be attributed to differences in income and wealth between the genders, researchers said. “The fact that men have larger incomes and financial assets than women makes it easier for them to save,” said America Saves Week co-founder Stephen Brobeck. Only 67 percent of women reported that they were making savings progress, compared with 74 percent of men.

Retirement savings was another area of concern among those surveyed—only 52 percent of non-retired persons believe that they are saving enough to allow them to retire at a desirable standard of living, down three percentage points from last year’s survey. A quarter of respondents cited consumer debt as the main reason they were not saving enough, and 22 percent of those under age 45 reported that education-related debt in particular was impeding their savings progress.

The survey also highlighted the importance of having a savings plan. Those with specific savings goals reported having greater success with saving, less debt and more emergency savings than those without.