April is Financial Literacy Month, so what better time to gauge Americans’ prowess in saving money?
The degree to which adults have mastered the art of padding personal savings accounts or stashing away money in a 401k or other retirement savings vehicle varies by age and sex.
According to the Consumer Financial Literacy Survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), Millennials (18- to 34-year-olds) and Gen Xers (35- to 54-year-olds) are doing better at saving more than last year compared to older adults.
Across all ages, the majority of those surveyed (53 percent) report contributing to some type of savings at a similar rate as the year prior, and 29 percent say they are saving even more. This figure was 26 percent in 2017.
Fewer women appear to be saving than men—35 percent haven’t put away a penny in a non-retirement savings account. In addition, they are “generally more likely than men to be saving less than last year (21 percent vs. 16 percent), including one in 10 who are saving significantly less,” the NFCC report noted.
When it comes to retirement, 65 percent of U.S. adults say they are saving at least part of their income for this purpose. Last year only 60 percent of respondents could say the same.
Survey results further suggest age is a factor when it comes to the way savers choose to allocate these funds. “Generation X is making the most of their 401k retirement plans, while adults over the age of 65 are more likely to rely on investments, mutual funds and IRAs.”
While on the right track, many still believe they are falling behind. The most commonly identified finance-related fear among survey respondents was retiring with inadequate savings. Just under 20 percent feel very confident that they are saving enough, and about 30 percent report that they are not confident at all about the amount they’re putting aside.
The survey was conducted online in March 2018 and polled 2,017 Americans who are at least 18 years old.