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Poll: More than fourth admit to no savings

North Palm Beach

Many families are struggling to just provide the basic necessities. More than a quarter -- or 28 percent -- of Americans told pollsters they had no savings to cover emergencies, according to a new survey by Bankrate.com.

That's up from 24 percent who admitted a year ago they had no emergency savings stashed away.Almost half said they didn’t have enough savings to cover three months of expenses if an emergency hit, reported the North Palm Beach County-based website.

Many financial planners recommend a cushion of enough money saved to cover six months of living expenses. Only a fourth of Americans have saved that much, according to Bankrate.com's poll.

“Having sufficient emergency savings is critical to avoiding high-cost credit card debt when unexpected expenses arise,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com.Still, there is progress. In 2006, 61 percent of surveyed Americans admitted they didn't have enough money saved to cover three months of expenses. But the Great Recession scared many into saving.
“While we’ve seen some improvement since then, the bottom line is that much more progress is needed,” said McBride.And there was another good spot in a different poll taken by Bankrate.com: Americans reported feeling more financial security in June than they had 12 months earlier, according to its monthly Financial Security Index.It's only the second time since the survey began in December 2010 that Americans are feeling more financial secure than they did a year ago.

dgehrke@tribune.com, 954-356-4404 or Twitter @donnagehrke

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