Americans’ feelings of financial insecurity dominated last year’s presidential campaign, and shaky times seem to have spilled over into the New Year. A survey by Bankrate.com of Palm Beach Gardens finds that fully 59 percent of Americans lack emergency savings to pay for a $500 car repair or a $1,000 medical bill.
Bankrate surveyed consumers last week. Fully 21 percent of Americans said they’d use credit cards to cover unexpected expenses, but that option has grown more costly in recent months. WalletHub says interest rates charged by credit cards jumped 31 basis points in late 2016, outpacing the Federal Reserve’s rate hike of 25 basis points.
In a separate but related finding, the Pew Charitable Trusts says most American workers have less than $24,000 in their retirement accounts.