Source: The Role of Emergency Savings in Family Financial Security: What Resources Do Families Have for Financial Emergencies (14-pgPDF)
The conclusion of the report? "...No matter how household well-being is measured, most Americans today do not have enough savings to weather a financial shock, and they feel this vulnerability acutely: Respondents expressed a clear desire to save, but the reality for many households is that they have far less of a financial cushion than they want or need. Many forces combined to produce the low levels of saving in U.S. households, including choices that families make about their finances—such as when and how much to spend—the resources they have, and needs that can drain their accumulated savings.
The challenges that Americans face in building savings are made steeper by the fact that, as households use their savings to address unexpected expenses and losses of income, they then need to replenish those reserves. In fact, the first brief in this series found that, although it could not demonstrate that shocks caused financial hardship, households that have had a financial shock have median liquid savings that are almost $4,000 below those that have not.
These findings reveal that significant parts of the population are at financial risk, but they also present an opportunity for broad-based efforts to enable and support family saving. Strategic policy changes have the potential to enhance households’ opportunity and incentives to build financial security. The next brief in this series will explore how Americans think about their savings and how insights into family finances can shape the creation of public policies and programs that can help households close their savings gaps."