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Recent GOBankingRates research sheds light on Americans' struggle with building wealth. For example, a survey found that 58 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account — and 26 percent have no savings at all. Furthermore, 42 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 in retirement savings. And, over 40 percent of Americans say they are not investing their money.
It seems most Americans are not yet prepared to afford the life they want. But, there could be many reasons why people lack the savings and investments needed to build wealth.
"For some, it might be because they truly are living paycheck to paycheck and can't get ahead financially," said Cameron Huddleston, a personal finance expert and GOBankingRates' Life + Money columnist. "For others, as much as they say they want to be rich, they're not making saving for the future a priority and are spending their money to live in the moment instead. Unfortunately, for many Americans, they've never received a good financial education — in school or at home — so they don't know what steps they should be taking to achieve their definition of 'rich.'"
The results from GOBankingRates' 2018 Annual Savings Survey seem to confirm Huddleston's insights. In the survey, respondents listed the following reasons why they're unable to save more money each month:
- 31 percent said they're living paycheck to paycheck
- 23 percent said they have a low salary
- 18 percent said they have a high cost of living
- 14 percent said they have too much debt
When it comes to investing, more than half of non-investors — 55 percent — said the primary reason they're not investing is because they don't have enough money, according to a separate GOBankingRates survey. And, when asked what would need to happen for them to start investing, 43 percent of respondents said they would also need to have less debt.