We apparently aren't doing a very good job of saving for a rainy day.
A hefty 24 percent of Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings, and 13 percent have no emergency savings, though they have no credit card debt either, according to a Bankrate survey.
"Even in the absence of credit card debt, the majority of households don't have enough emergency savings to cover three months' worth of expenses," Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, said on the firm's web site.
Clearly something's not right.
"Americans are woefully under-saved for emergencies," he said, according to CNBC. "By not having emergency savings and using some of your available credit, your options in the event of unplanned expenses are much more limited."
Some of the problem is slow income growth, McBride said on Bankrate. Average hourly wages gained only 1.7 percent last year.
"It's difficult for people to really move the needle on savings when their income hasn't grown." But individuals bear some of the blame too, he said.
Retirement savings also is an issue, notes Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world's biggest money manager.
"One of the biggest problems facing the U.S. is we’re ill-prepared to build that nest egg, and there’s no safety net if you’re ill-prepared, other than Social Security," he told The Wall Street Journal.
Like many others, Fink says the problems could intensify in the next 10 years. "I’m bringing it up more and more. If you don’t live your elongated life in dignity, it’s a crisis."
For example, the National Retirement Risk Index from Boston College's Center for Retirement Research shows that 53 percent of households risk falling at least 10 percent short of the retirement income needed to maintain their standard of living.
In addition, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) finds that more than 40 percent of retirees are at risk of running out of money for daily needs, out-of-pocket spending on healthcare or long-term care, according to The Fiscal Times.
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