More Americans have rainy day funds, but savings remain skimpy

An improving economy has fueled confidence, but not enough money is being socked away for the long haul

An improving economy has left Americans feeling more confident about their finances, burdened with less debt and better equipped to confront a crisis. But that hasn’t translated into more savings for the long run, with participation in retirement-savings programs remaining largely flat.

Following the steady recovery in the economy and job market since 2009, a new survey on financial capability shows marked improvement in people’s ability to weather short-term financial hardships–even as many still face income declines and medical expenses.

A survey of more than 27,000 Americans, released Tuesday by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, showed the ratio of respondents who have set aside three months of emergency funds rose to 46% last year, compared with 40% for its previous survey in 2012 and 35% in 2009.

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