1 in 5 Americans Have No Emergency Savings
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans (19%) have no money set aside for emergency expenses, and 31% have less than $500 saved, according to a recent study by HomeServe USA.
In a poll of over 2,000 U.S. adults, the HomeServe Biannual State of the Home Survey found only 26% of those that do have an emergency fund have over $8,000 set aside. Senior citizens (65+) are most likely to have money saved for unplanned expenses, as nearly half (48%) of individuals in this age group have at least $8,000 in emergency savings, compared to just 20% of Americans 18 to 64. Less than half (45%) of individuals 18 to 34 have $1,000 or less in emergency savings, compared to 24% of those over 35.
HomeServe also studied the types of unexpected expenses Americans may face. Over half (52%) of those surveyed said they feared unexpected vehicle repairs in the next year, which could result from the fact that most Americans are keeping their cars longer.
Next on the list were medical emergencies. Nearly half (49%) of respondents said they worried about unexpected medical costs within the next year.
The third most anticipated emergency was home repairs, cited by 42% of the respondents. Oddly enough, while 71% of Americans doubt they will have an emergency home repair in the near future, 54% actually did have to face a home repair in the past year.
“While the new survey suggests that American homeowners are steadily enhancing their financial position for dealing with unexpected home emergency repairs, spending savings in this way may not be their preferred use of available funds,” said Tom Rusin, CEO of HomeServe USA. “The bill that comes with repairs or replacements of a damaged water service line, malfunctioning HVAC system or blocked sewer pipe can rise well into the thousands of dollars. As anyone might expect, the new edition of the survey shows people would prefer to use available savings toward something more enjoyable, such as a vacation.”