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Bank Fees on the Rise as Savings Slide

File this under the law of unintended consequences: when the CARD Act went into effect last year, banks lost a massive stream of revenue. It was only a matter of time before financial institutions would find new ways to replace that lost money. I discussed new bank fees and ways to avoid them with CBS television stations this morning.

The rising bank fees come at a time when Americans think they are doing a good job of saving. According to a new poll released by, younger people believe that they are better than their parents at saving money.

The poll "found that 49 percent of respondents perceived themselves as doing a better job of saving money than their parents. Another 22 percent said they were about the same as their parents when it comes to saving money, and only 30 percent responded that they were "worse" or "much worse" at saving money than their parents. In short, most respondents reported they are at least as good, if not better, savers than their parents."

Sadly, this is not the case. Sure, the personal savings rate of 5.5 percent is whole lot better than the negative savings rate of 2006, but we have a long way to go. The Bureau of Economic Analysis' personal savings data indicates that the personal savings rate averaged only 3.48 percent of income over the previous 10 years, and doesn't come close to matching the 10-year average personal savings rate of 9.63 percent seen from 1971-1981.

If a Great Recession doesn't thrust our savings habit into a higher gear, I'm not sure what will...perhaps the recognition that retirement could soon be old-fashioned concept.

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