Middle-class US Families Not Prepared For Financial Shock
CNN reports that a typical family in America only has savings for 21 days, which means they can replace just three weeks income with accessible funds. This leaves them on really thin ice should an emergency happen. These funds include both money in checking and savings accounts and cash at hand.
Even if they decided to liquidate all their retirement fund savings and their investments, it still would only cover 119 days.
Families with the lowest income are in an even worse position, being only able to come up with cash for 9 days. But what’s more surprising, even the richest families don’t have a lot of savings, being able to cover 52 days of lost income.
Director of Pew’s financial security and mobility project, Erin Currier said that a lot of American families, including even those with high income, are not prepared for emergencies. He continued, that most families don’t have safety nets and no means to absorb any sudden financial setbacks.
A Consumer Finances Survey by the Federal Reserve shows that families with middle-income earn from $36,500 to $60,000, lowest-income families make below $20,300 and the richest have incomes of over $101,800.
Stagnating wages put a lot of strain on the Americans. It is also common to have the income fluctuating a lot over a short period of time. For example, around half of the households have experienced a 25% or larger drop or gain in their income over the last two years.
Households have not been saving for the future either, more than 60% of the people have not grown their wealth and have just as much as they had in 1989.
Living at risk like this can hurt not only current households, but also our future generations. Families that are not secure financially, can not be mobile economically. All this also effects the mobility of children, as it is linked to the financial situation of their parents.