Data and Research

Most Americans Not Committed Savers

A survey by PurePoint Financial shows Americans have concerns that one would think would drive them to start saving or save more.

By Rebecca Moore editors@strategic-i.com | September 29, 2017

A survey found one in three Americans are saving 10% or less of their paychecks each month, and nearly half do not have savings in a retirement account.

Four in 10 are not prioritizing savings at all, either saying, “It’s more important to me to be able to enjoy my money now, so saving is not a priority for me,” or “I save what I can when I can, but don’t have a set budget/amount.”

The survey by PurePoint Financial shows Americans have concerns that one would think would drive them to start saving or save more. Eighty-one percent say rising health care costs is somewhat or very concerning, yet only 68% say this is a somewhat or very impactful influence on their savings behavior. The rising cost of living is concerning for 78% of Americans, but only influences savings decisions of 72%.

Uncertainty about the political environment is somewhat or very concerning for 69% of Americans, but only 54% say this is a somewhat or very impactful influence on their savings behavior. Likewise, uncertainty about the state of the economy is concerning for 68%, but impactful on savings behavior for only 61%.

The survey found committed savers are more optimistic about the future than non-committed savers (75% vs. 56%, respectively). They also make saving a routine: 40% pre-determine an amount that is automatically deposited into savings from each paycheck they receive. Although 56% of committed savers report they learned their savings habits from their parents, 15% report learning from a financial adviser.

However, committed savers are more likely to set aside savings across multiple accounts, not just retirement savings accounts. According to the survey, 71% put savings into a regular savings account, 65% in a checking account, 31% in a money market deposit account, 23% in certificates of deposits (CDs) and 17% in safe deposit boxes.

The survey was conducted among 6,001 Americans ages 18 and older between July 20 and August 3, 2017.