Emergency Funds Would Run Out Quickly

Six in 10 surveyed Americans said they could last financially for 90 days or less without a job, while 38% said their nest egg wouldn’t make it for four weeks.

A news release from HSBC Bank USA about its poll said 39% of respondents reported being able to live on their savings for three to six months if unemployed.

“While we have seen a robust increase in the personal savings rate in 2009, and we are moving in the right direction, what is clear is that it’s not enough,” said David Goeden, executive vice president, Personal Financial Services, HSBC Bank USA, N.A. “More than ever, Americans are aware of the importance of having an emergency fund; yet, despite this heightened awareness—and rising unemployment rates—there is still a sweeping lack of preparedness for the unexpected.”

Fifty-one percent of respondents with a household income (HHI) of less than $50,000 could only live on savings for less than one month. Despite a higher income, 29% of respondents with a HHI of more than $100,000 could only live on their savings for up to three months.

Those who are prepared for less than one month include families with children (44%) and adults age 55 and older (31%).

When asked what they would do if they unexpectedly received $1,000, 63% said they would pay bills, and nearly 40% said they would put all or the majority into savings.

The HSBC Consumer Survey was conducted online in July among 1,000 U.S. households. The sample size varied per question.