The Federal Reserve Board has identified five financial behaviors that are key to successful retirement saving, saying in a report that those who do them “are very likely to be financially healthy and able to accumulate significant wealth. If you do none of those things, you are very likely to be financially unhealthy.”
• Did you save any money last year?
• Did you miss any payments on any obligations in the past year?
• Did you have a balance on your credit card after the last payment was due?
• Including all of your assets, was more than 10 percent of the value in liquid assets?
• Is your total debt service (principal and interest) less than 40 percent of your income?
The report drew data from the more than 38,000 families who participated in the Fed’s survey of consumer finances over 20 years until 2013, examining the results by several demographic characteristics. Among them, age was most commonly correlated to success in those areas–specifically, those age 62 and over graded the best, a stronger link than even educational levels.
The report said that result “may be due to learning better financial habits over time, getting beyond the financial challenges of early and middle adulthood and the benefit of time in building a nest egg.”