The Role of Emergency Savings in Family Financial Security

Americans overwhelmingly say they prefer financial stability over economic mobility. However, recent Pew research suggests that such security is elusive: Even the best-off households find their finances strained when they experience a financial shock such as a major car or home repair or a loss of income.

In a series of three issue briefs to be released over the coming weeks, Pew shows the extent to which households are financially vulnerable when faced with a financial shock. The briefs provide insight into the financial risks that Americans face and the impact of shocks on family balance sheets; households’ level of preparation to address emergency needs; and the implications of families’ savings behavior for policymakers as they work to create solutions that support Americans’ financial security.

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How Do Families Cope With Financial Shocks?

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How Do Families Cope With Financial Shocks?

Unexpected expenses or losses of income can create significant pressure, even for the economically fortunate.

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What Resources Do Families Have for Financial Emergencies?

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What Resources Do Families Have for Financial Emergencies?

Families that lack a savings cushion are apt to face greater difficulty in coping with unexpected financial setbacks. This brief examines the state of Americans’ emergency savings as a first line of financial defense.

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Barriers to Saving and Policy Opportunities

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Barriers to Saving and Policy Opportunities

This brief explores how Americans think about saving and how policymakers can help families better prepare for financial challenges.

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