|Women trail men in saving
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Fewer than half of Americans (46 percent) have a three-month
savings cushion, the minimum recommended by financial
planners, but those numbers are higher than last year's
39 percent. The numbers resemble those from our May
poll. When asked how they would cover an unexpected
expense of several thousand dollars, 51 percent of respondents
in that poll said they would pay from savings.
Jean Chatzky, author of several books
on personal finance and host of the nationally syndicated
daily radio program, "Talking Money with Jean
Chatzky," saw the poll results as a positive
sign. "We are constantly told that Americans
are not saving anything," she says, "and
yet nearly half of the people surveyed have three
months of living expenses in a liquid account that
they could access in an emergency. Would I like to
see that number higher? Of course, but I expected
it to be much lower."
Nevertheless, men are much more likely
than women to have three months of living expenses
in emergency savings (55 percent versus 39 percent).
Lower income Americans are least-prepared for emergencies,
with only a quarter of those earning less than $30,000
annually holding the recommended three-month cushion.
This means that based on savings figures alone, three-quarters
of low-income Americans are living in precarious financial