每日英語跟讀 Ep.K134: Too Many Households Are Short on Emergency Savings
Six weeks of take-home pay.
That’s how much cash families should aim to set aside to ride out gyrations in their income and expenses, a new analysis from JPMorgan Chase’s research arm finds.
The recommendation, based on an analysis of millions of Chase checking accounts, is considerably less than the traditional rule of thumb of three to six months of take-home pay.
But even so, most households fall short, the report found: About two-thirds lack the recommended buffer.
To cushion against a simultaneous spike in expenses and dip in income, a middle-income family needs about $5,000 in a rainy-day fund but has just $2,000 — a gap of $3,000. Lower-income families need about $2,500 but have just $700.
The findings were part of a report on income volatility that the JPMorgan Chase Institute published late last month. The report examined inflows and outflows from 6 million active checking accounts over a period of about six years that ended in December.
Americans’ lack of emergency savings has been a concern for years. The Pew Charitable Trusts found in 2015 that many families lacked funds to cover a $2,000 expense. And the Federal Reserve has repeatedly found that a significant share of households would struggle to cope with an unexpected $400 expense.
But in the current long period of economic growth and low unemployment, it is especially frustrating that many families continue to lack a cash buffer, according to a report last month from the AARP Public Policy Institute. The AARP found that more than half of American households (53%) lacked an emergency savings account, including a majority of people over age 50.
While it’s easier for more affluent people to save, some low-income families do manage to set aside money while higher-income families do not, the AARP found. For instance, a quarter of Americans earning more than $150,000 a year have no emergency savings account, the report found.
Regardless of their income, families with no emergency savings are more likely to suffer financial hardship, said Catherine S. Harvey, the author of the AARP report.
Harvey cautioned that just because people didn’t have a specific emergency savings account didn’t mean they lacked a plan to deal with unexpected expenses — even if it was borrowing from relatives and friends. But it’s clear, she said, that more must be done to promote emergency savings to make families more financially resilient.
Emergency savings are “necessary to meet the obvious issues that arise on a consistent basis for all of us, whether it’s costs for our home, car or health,” said George Barany, director of America Saves, a campaign that is managed by the Consumer Federation of America.
應急存款「對我們所有人應付經常出現的明顯問題而言，都是必要的，不論是我們住家、車子或醫療的花費。」美國消費者協會旗下的「美國存錢」活動執行長巴拉尼說。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/4169559
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