Even more noteworthy, the numbers don't vary all that much when the figures are broken down by age groups.
"The people in their twenties and thirties are saving as much as anyone else for retirement," Beemer said.
He attributes the shift in behavior to the ongoing debate over the budget deficit and the discussion about what may need to be done.
"When you ask them why they are saving for retirement, a number of them are saying they believe social security will be gone," Beemer said.
The rest of the savers say they are saving for the following: college (15.8 percent), a major purchase (9.1 percent), vacation (7.9 percent), back-to-school shopping (7.1 percent) or Christmas gifts (6.7 percent).
The number of people saving for college also is at a significantly higher level than in past surveys, Beemer said.
"College was never above a 10 or 11," he said. Beemer explained that about 40 percent of parents take out a second mortgage on their home to finance their children's college education.
"Many people found that they have no equity, and they can't use their home as a piggy bank any longer," Beemer said.
When one considers the sentiment behind the top two reasons for saving, there is the thought that Americans likely feel they have no other choice but to save more for their future. In the wake of the financial crisis, many Americans were cut off from sources of credit.
Fortunately, with each year, credit card debt is becoming less of an issue for many Americans.
According to Beemer, only 29.1 percent of Americans say they feel pressure from credit card bills. That's down from 35.6 percent of Americans in July 2010.
If you go back two years, 48.6 percent of Americans admitted to feeling pressured by their credit card debt.
"People were going like mad men to get out of debt, now we're seeing them save more and seeing them occasionally splurge," Beemer said.
As for the credit card usage, Beemer doesn't expect consumers to start piling up debt again.
"People want the points. They are using them to get something," he said. But he expects they will pay them off when the bill comes in.
Beemer even speculates that this may be why consumer confidence is continuing to decline.
"When you listen to the number of people complaining about paying off the bills and the debt, they get furious about the government's situation," he said.
Beemer said, "They're saying, 'I feel good about myself, but I don't feel good about where the country's going any longer.'"
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