The last week of February is America Saves Week. From Feb. 27 to March 2, financial institutions across the country will aim to raise awareness about the importance of saving money and share tips for saving more.
The week comprises five themes:
- Monday: Saving automatically
- Tuesday: Saving for the unexpected
- Wednesday: Saving for major milestones
- Thursday: Paying down debt is saving
- Friday: Saving at any age
Whatever the goal, setting money aside for the future is vital to financial security, and recent polling shows it’s something that many Americans continue to struggle with.
The state of savings in 2023
Bankrate has been polling Americans about their emergency savings since 2014. This year’s survey, which was conducted in December, found less than half of respondents could pay for an emergency expense from their savings, and reliance on credit cards is at an all-time high.
If faced with a $1,000 expense for an emergency room visit or a car repair, 43 percent of people told Bankrate that they would use their savings to pay the expense. Twenty-five percent of people said they would use a credit card, which is the highest percentage since the survey began in 2014.
The Bankrate survey also found that people across generations are concerned about their level of emergency savings — particularly younger generations. Bankrate said 85 percent of Generation Z and 79 percent of Millennials are worried about having enough savings to cover a month’s worth of living expenses, compared to 69 percent of Generation X and 53 percent of Baby Boomers.
When it comes to retirement savings, Americans express similar sentiments. According to the most recent survey from the Federal Reserve, less than half of respondents nearing retirement age said they felt like they were on track. That survey also found that a quarter of all non-retirees had no retirement savings at all.
PERA offers built-in options for additional savings
Colorado PERA members are already saving automatically for retirement with every paycheck. PERA also offers several options for members who want to set aside even more money.
All PERA members have access to the optional PERAPlus 401(k) to set aside extra pre-tax money each month. Some employers also offer the PERAPlus 457 plan. Both plans feature a variety of investment choices as well as lifetime income options to make savings go further in retirement.
America Saves Week is a great opportunity to take stock of your savings and make a plan for saving more. If you’re already enrolled in a PERAPlus plan, log in today to check your balance, and consider increasing your contributions if you’re not on track to meet your goals.