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America Saves Week 2011 Feb. 20-27

February 18, 2011

An infographic posted by MoneyRates.com in conjunction with America Saves Week looks at the financial situation of a fictional character named Boomer. While Boomer is fictional, unfortunately the numbers used are real. By comparing national averages between 1970 and the present, these numbers illustrate why Americans should have a sense of urgency about saving money.

Here is an explanation of the statistics used in the piece:

  • Debt: Figures from the Federal Reserve show the sharp rise in credit card and overall debt. MoneyRates.com divided the national figures from 1970 and 2010 by the number of adults in America during those years, to show that the average person's credit card debt has risen from $31.93 to $3,592.62, and total debt from $977.08 to $10,499.21.
  • Savings: At the same time, personal savings rates have dropped from 9 percent to 5 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Interest rates: CDs, savings accounts, and money market accounts used to augment savings by paying a solid interest rate, but this is no longer true. According to Federal Reserve figures on short-term CD rates, deposit rates have dropped from 7.5 percent to 0.24 percent.
  • Inflation: While savings have fallen, things have gotten more expensive. The average price of a new home has risen from $23,450 to over $200,000, while the price of a new car has risen from $3,450 to more than $25,000.

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