Tag Archives: Savings

Only 54% of Americans Have More Emergency Savings than Credit Card Debt

NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2012  — Only 54% of Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt, according to a new poll released today by Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE). One in four Americans (25%) has more credit card debt than emergency savings and 16% have neither credit card debt nor emergency savings.

Bankrate’s monthly Financial Security Index held at 97.3, unchanged from January and tied for the highest level since June 2011. Any reading below 100 indicates a lower level of financial security compared with 12 months earlier.

Despite four straight months of improving sentiment, consumers’ overall financial situation is still seen as negative. Twenty-seven percent of Americans report a lower level of financial security now versus one year ago and 24% report a higher level. Thirty-eight percent of Americans are less comfortable with their savings now compared with one year ago; only 14% are more comfortable.

“Emergency savings remains a problem area for many Americans, which leaves them only one unplanned expense away from having high-cost debt,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com’s senior financial analyst. “Long-term unemployment, stagnant wage growth and rising household expenses are all contributing to this trend. As difficult as it may be to boost savings, having an adequate emergency savings cushion is critical to maintaining financial stability, and Americans need to find ways to sock away more cash for a rainy day.”

Additional findings included:

Job Security

  • Consumers are slightly positive, with 20% feeling more secure than one year ago and 19% feeling less secure (up from 17% in January).


  • Consumers have reported less negativity about their savings in each of the past three months, with fewer feeling less comfortable and more feeling about the same as 12 months ago.

Debt and Net Worth

  • Both were little changed from January and maintain essentially neutral readings.

Credit Card Debt vs. Emergency Savings

  • Households with income of $75,000 or more per year, college graduates and retirees are the most likely to have more in emergency savings than credit card debt.
  • Parents are the most likely to have more credit card debt than emergency savings.
  • Those most likely to have neither credit card debt nor emergency savings are households with income of less than $30,000 per year, those with a high school education or less and the unemployed.
  • In a similar Bankrate poll conducted in February 2011, 52% of Americans had more emergency savings than credit card debt. Twenty-three percent had more credit card debt than emergency savings and 19% had neither credit card debt nor emergency savings.

New Mobile Technology Transforms How America’s Workers Save for Retirement

Innovative Financial Advisors pilot cutting-edge process resulting in dramatic improvements in retirement savings

SANTA ROSA, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011 — According to The Employee Benefit Research Institute, in their 2011 Retirement Confidence Study, fully 70 percent of American workers say they are not where they need to be with their retirement savings.

Less than half of workers (42 percent) report they and/or their spouse have tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved by the time they retire so that they can live comfortably in retirement. This has changed little since 2003.

But since December 2010, a start-up company has been piloting a solution to overcome these unmet needs with Financial Advisors who specialize in 401(k) plans.

Called iJoin, this mobile software provides personalized analysis of a worker’s retirement situation. Workers using their own smartphone or a supplied mobile device are led through an engaging, interactive decision-making process. Using applied behavioral finance techniques; iJoin gently nudges employees to determine:

  • How much must they save for retirement to replace their monthly income?
  • If they are not on track to achieve their monthly income goal, what they can do to achieve the desired goal?
  • Based on their individual preferences, what are some suitable investments?

With a professional Financial Advisor leading the session, different situations can be analyzed and solutions provided on the spot. At the end of the session, a retirement planning report is emailed to each participant.

Nearly 200 workers participated, with 8 companies across the country, in a variety of industries ranging from professional firms to farming equipment and manufacturing. The results were outstanding:

  • 97% chose to participate in their company retirement plan compared to industry average of 78.8%
  • 68% selected a higher contribution percentage than what they were currently deferring
  • Workers increased their savings or deferral rate resulting in a 10.6% average deferral rate compared to industry average of 7.5%

Workers gave the iJoin software good marks:

  • 76% rated iJoin as “Extremely Effective” or “Very Effective” in helping determine how much money will be needed in retirement
  • 81% said they would “Absolutely” or “Probably Recommend” the iJoin retirement planning process to others.

“The mission of iJoin is to improve the retirement security of millions of American workers who are depending on 401(k) plans to generate needed income once they stop working. Mobile technology is a game changer. By partnering with Financial Advisors, iJoin offers a turnkey technology solution and consistent guidance process that dramatically improves individual retirement outcomes,” said Fred Greenstein, CEO, Left Coast Solutions, Inc.

“In about twenty minutes, the iJoin mobile application enabled workers to determine how much they needed to save for retirement and showed them how to accomplish that goal,” said Kendall Kay, Chief Marketing Officer for iJoin. “They now have a written game plan that shows how they can be ready for retirement and what sort of monthly income they will need. This process really boosts their confidence.”

About Left Coast Solutions, Inc.

Established in 2008, in Santa Rosa, California, Left Coast Solutions is the owner of the iJoin mobile web guidance and enrollment software. The software has been developed by LCS’s technology and project partner iGate/Patni. The iJoin team has 70+ years of retirement plan experience. The founders possess expertise in 401(k) recordkeeping, product development, investment management, web technology, retirement plan design and consulting. For more information, go to: http://www.ijoinplan.com/

About iGATE Patni:

“iGATE Patni” (the common brand identity of iGATE and Patni with the former having acquired a majority stake in Patni Computers) provides consulting, technology, business process outsourcing and product engineering services on a Business Outcomes-based model powered by the iTOPS (Integrated Technology and Operations) platform. iGATE Patni’s multi-location global organization has 26000+ people, servicing over 360 Fortune 1000 clients in banking & financial services; insurance & healthcare; and life sciences, among others. Visit: http://www.igatepatni.com.


Kendall Kay
Chief Marketing Officer
Left Coast Solutions, Inc.
[email protected]