Poll Shows Consumers Do Pay Themselves First

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A new joint poll by leading financial websites MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org shows that payroll deductions into retirement investment vehicles is the most popular method of saving for retirement. Together with other automatic transfers, automated saving is the preferred method for building a nest egg.

MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org

When you automate savings, you make sure you pay yourself first. You also make sure that procrastination and buying impulses do not interfere with your retirement savings.

The good news for workers today is that saving for retirement has never been easier. Payroll deductions for retirement plans are available through many employers, while many banks offer automatic scheduled deposits to IRAs, money market accounts, online savings accounts and other savings vehicles. According to a MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org joint poll, many savers are making use of these automatic investment options.

Visitors to the two financial sites were asked, "What is your primary method of saving for retirement?" The 1,436 answers broke down as follows:

  • Automatically deduct from paycheck into retirement plan such as a 401(k), IRA, etc. (67 percent)
  • Automatic transfers from bank account into savings account or investment account (10 percent)
  • Transfer funds from bank account into savings account or investment account when I can (9 percent)
  • Currently not saving for retirement (14 percent)

"The results underscore the importance of setting up an automated savings program," says Richard Barrington, personal finance expert for MoneyRates.com. "When you automate savings, you make sure you pay yourself first. You also make sure that procrastination and buying impulses do not interfere with your retirement savings."

In addition to the survey's findings regarding saving behavior, the informal online poll indicates that visitors to MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org are ahead of the curve when it comes to looking toward the future. Among the survey respondents, 67 percent participate in a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or IRA. Nationally, only 55 percent of workers contribute to such plans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Commenting on the MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org responses, Barrington says, "It's encouraging to find that 86 percent of poll respondents are saving via one means or another, considering that the EBRI found that nationally, 27 percent of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments." With both sites focusing on financial literacy and consumer education, Barrington continues, "It makes me think that our message is getting through to our audience."

Further analysis by Barrington on the implications of the poll results can be found in his article, Are You Paying Your Retirement Fund First?

MoneyRates.com is a consumer information website providing tips on saving and banking as well as interest rates on more than 200 banking products. It has been a leading source of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing since 1999. Visitors to MoneyRates.com can research the highest rates on certificates of deposits, money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts.

GetRichSlowly.org is an online community devoted to sensible personal finance. Since 2006, GetRichSlowly.org has provided thousands of active readers with a forum to learn about and discuss saving money, eliminating debt, finding the best high yield savings accounts and pursuing practical paths to accumulating wealth. The site is among "The Top 100 Personal Finance Websites," according to Liz Weston of MSN, and has been named "The Most Inspiring Money Blog" by CNN's Money magazine.

Richard Barrington is available for interviews on this topic and other topics relating to personal saving and investing. To interview Richard, please contact:

Jessica Austin

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Jessica Austin

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