The savings rate in the United States may be down according to government statistics, but a new survey indicates that the vast majority of Americans do save on a regular basis.
Some 81 percent save regularly, according to the study, released today by the GE Center for Financial Learning (www.financiallearning.com), a website designed to promote financial literacy.
Other findings from the poll of 1,000 people:
Americans are most likely to save for retirement, vacations, and to pay off debt (see chart).
97 percent of households with incomes of $100,000 save on a regular basis, and 79 percent of this group save specifically for retirement.
38 percent of Americans save between 5 and 10 percent of their monthly incomes, 32 percent save 11 percent or more, 24 percent save 4 percent or less.
The reason given by people for not saving more? "I can't afford to." Other top reasons given: too much credit-card debt, living on a fixed income, and high mortgage or other payments.
For those who want to save more, the simplest answer is: Spend less. To help you get there, the GE Center for Financial Learning provides some suggestions (right) that could lead to big savings.