But their finances don't reflect that claim, says Jada Grandy, senior vice president and Community Reinvestment Act strategies director for the Bank, which commissioned the survey in time for Financial Literacy Month, which is celebrated annually in April.
"Americans seem to know and understand the concepts that lead to financial wellbeing. But the results of this survey suggest we aren't putting those theories to practice," she says, noting that 47 percent of Americans report frequently living paycheck to paycheck. "We want to empower Americans to take control of their finances so they can live more empowered, fulfilled lives."
The national survey examined the financial beliefs and behaviors of American adults. The results provided a snapshot of our nation's financial literacy.
Americans are confident in their financial expertise.
- 48 percent of Americans consider themselves financially savvy.
- 45 percent know they should set aside 20 percent of their income for savings.
- More than half1 of Americans know an emergency financial fund should hold six months of living expenses.
- 25 percent of Americans are debt-free.
- 46 percent agree retirement savings should begin in a person's 20s.
But they aren't putting theory to practice.
When asked about their financial habits, however, results show a significant gap between financial literacy theory and practice.
- 70 percent of Americans currently have some form of debt.
- 30 percent of those in debt have no plan to pay it off.
- Two-thirds2 of respondents do not have six months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund.
- 30 percent of Americans don't have an emergency fund at all.
- More than half3 of respondents don't contribute to a 401K, IRA or other retirement plan.
What's the good news?
Financial independence – defined as living debt free (with the exception of a mortgage) and no longer living paycheck to paycheck – is a goal for 82 percent of Americans. To help them put financial knowledge to real practice, the Bank has published its Top Ten Steps to Financial Empowerment at www.53.com/life. Fifth Third is committed to financial empowerment and offers its free L.I.F.E. (Lives Improved through Financial Empowerment®) programs to consumers through many ages and stages of life.
About Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $141 billion in assets and operates 1,254 full-service Banking Centers, including 95 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,593 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has an 18.3% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2015, had $297 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $26 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC
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1 55 percent of respondents know how much money is recommended for an emergency fund.
2 69 percent of respondents do not have six months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund.
3 55.2 percent of respondents do not contribute to a 401K, IRA or other retirement plan.
SOURCE Fifth Third Bank