Tag Archives: American

More American savers skimp on retirement plans

Americans are saving more, just not in their employer-sponsored retirement plans, according to a new analysis by retirement market researcher Hearts & Wallets.

Average annual household savings increased almost a full percentage point to 5.5 percent last year, up from 4.6 percent in 2013, based on Hearts & Wallets’ annual survey of 5,500 U.S. households. (The personal savings rate this May was 5.1 percent, according to the latest release from the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis.) But the percentage of household savings that went into employer-sponsored retirements plans like 401(k)s fell 7 percentage points to 22 percent in 2014, and households participating in employer-sponsored plans declined to 56 percent last year from 60 percent in 2013.

“Our research shows that the average saver was more focused on building an emergency fund than saving for retirement last year,” said Laura Varas, co-founder of Hearts & Wallets. The percentage of households that said they set aside money to deal with unexpected expenses grew from 37 percent in 2013 to 45 percent in 2014.

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American families spent 16% more on college this year

College loan

Americans say they spent 16% more on college expenses during the 2014-15 school year than the year before, according to Sallie Mae’s annual “How Americans pay for college” report.

Families shelled out an average of $24,164 to cover college costs during the 2014-15 school year, compared to $20,882 the year prior. It’s the first time in five years that families have increased college spending year over year, according to Sallie Mae.

The rising cost of college is certainly one factor that could be contributing to this significant bump, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

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