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A large segment of the American public lives with little or no savings, according to a report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). The findings have raised concerns about the nation’s future fiscal condition as poor domestic spending habits could put large numbers of United States households in precarious financial positions.
“…most American families no longer live in fear of losing their jobs or their homes. Yet, these families continue to exist in a state of persistent financial insecurity, making it difficult to look beyond immediate needs and plan for a more secure future. While indicators like unemployment, foreclosure and credit card debt show a slow but steady decline, the percentage of people who do not have a personal financial safety net hasn’t budged. Nearly half (44%) of households in the United States are ‘liquid asset poor,’ meaning they have less than three months’ worth of savings—conservatively measured as $5,887 for a family of four, or three times monthly income at the poverty level,” the report stated.
“Liquid asset poverty means there is no ‘slack’ in a family’s budget. If a liquid asset poor family faces an unforeseen expense, such as a broken down car or a medical bill, they have to borrow to cover the tab. For the 56% of consumers who have subprime credit scores, the only option may be to take out a high-cost—often predatory—loan, which can create a cycle of debt and worsen financial insecurity.”
“As a nation, we are setting ourselves up for disaster,” Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported. “With an aging population who has little or no savings, an uncertain economy that relies almost exclusively on consumer spending, and an explosion of welfare spending that has increased, rather than decreased, poverty rates, we are facing a tsunami of the destitute without the means to provide for themselves in later life.”