More than a quarter of U.S. adults have saved “zero dollars” for an emergency, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by personal savings website Bankrate.com carried out by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, a polling firm.
MarketWatch editor Quentin Fottrell reports that the 28% of adults without anything saved for an emergency is the equivalent to 66 million people. That total is down from 29% last year, but up from 24% in five years ago.
Another 28% of adults have saved enough money to last six months, up from 22% from last year and a six-year high; 18% had some emergency savings, but not enough for six months. Generation Xers are in the worst position of all generations: 33% of 36- to 51-year-olds haven’t saved anything for an emergency.
“Expenses grow faster than many Americans can save during the home-buying, family-raising years,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com. “Accumulating emergency savings requires establishing the habit.”