1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

'Why don't Americans save more money?'

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, May 16, 2016.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Very interesting piece in the Atlantic:

    Why Don’t Americans Save More Money?

    Nearly half of Americans would not be able to come up with $400 in savings in an emergency, according to a Federal Reserve study cited in The Atlantic's cover story this month. America’s poor and its middle class live on the razor’s edge of financial security through their working years and are uniquely ill-prepared for retirement. The United States finished 19th for three consecutive years in a global analysis of retirement security, behind Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and 13 European countries.

    I think my current 401k savings rate is 10 percent. Very little in the liquid savings, though. Enough to come up with $400 in an emergency, though. So I've got that going for me.

    This was driven home last week, though, when my 30-year-old cousin contacted me to help him with a "loan." I braced for how much it would be. The answer: $40 to prevent his phone from being turned off that night.

    I'm always of two competing minds about paying for retirement. On one hand, I want us to be secure for retirement, assuming we both live that long. On the other, I fret that we're missing out on experiences now, the 18-21 years of our lives that we'll actually give a shit about, looking back.
    Hokie_pokie and bigpern23 like this.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    We are consumers. Consumers consume.
    BitterYoungMatador2 likes this.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Divorce has to be among the top reasons.

    It's rarely mentioned as a reason. The article DoubleDown posted in the politics thread didn't highlight it.

    But, it's a killer for family finances.

    Is your 30-year-old cousin divorced?
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    No, he's not. He had a serious girlfriend for a while who had a child from a previous marriage, so I'm not sure how much he poured down that rabbit hole. He's one of these guys who has been working on his degree (in education) for about 10 years. He works as a waiter.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    My best friend from college is divorced and I can tell it's a killer. He's constantly fretting about money and all of his regrets. And this is a guy who is a manager at his Blue Cross/Blue Shield office. I know when we took an extended weekend ski trip together this past winter, he lied to his ex-wife about it because she owed him money, and he didn't want her to think he had money and, therefore, didn't need hers.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Medical bills can also wipe out savings.

    In addition, it's hard when you are in your 20s and 30s to say that your are going to put off having nice things or going on trips or having fun so that you can do that when you are in your 60s.

    I think most of America says screw that.

    We don't go on fancy vacations, have 3 cars in the family all with over 120K miles, a nice ranch house in a decent neighborhood, but haven't saved a dime beyond what's in our 401Ks.
  7. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Home ownership and having children are the two biggest money-making scams of all time.

    Once you do those things, everybody lines up for a piece of the action, and once they get their hands in your pockets, they'll take and take and take until the end of time, if you let them.
  8. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    I count my blessings all the time for uncontested divorces. They cost $200. Period. The end.
    YankeeFan likes this.
  9. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Too many bills to pay.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Having married into an immigrant family, I can tell you this is hugely cultural. The Chinese savings rate is something like 30-40 percent of annual income. The rate recommended to Americans, for a long time (and I think even now), is 6 percent. We want nice things and there are powerful forces telling us to buy them.

    Then again, if everyone did save except for the essentials, the American economy would collapse, so that isn't much better.
  11. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    BT Express to play the part of Ragu on this thread.
  12. BitterYoungMatador2

    BitterYoungMatador2 Well-Known Member

    When the average salary increases at a rate of 2-percent a year while costs and expenses rise at about double that, it's not hard to figure out.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page