Friday, May 18, 2012

Japan is Still a Very Rich Country - Average Japanese Savings Between 200% ~ 400% More than Americans

Whenever I go overseas, I often wonder just how poor the average Japanese is compared to their foreign counterparts. Well stacked up against the savings of the average American family, Japanese families look pretty good. 

The average Japanese family has 16.64 million yen in savings, according to official data, more than twice the average annual salary in the nation of 128 million.
The number for 2011 was a 0.4% increase from a year earlier, with households of two or more people holding average debt of 4.62 million yen.
The Japanese have long enjoyed a reputation as disciplined savers, as rates generally declined in the West in recent decades, including the United States where economists and politicians have bemoaned low savings rates.
The average savings is ¥16.64 million yen (about $210,000 USD). Twice the average annual salary? That's a lot. Really? 

How does that stack up against, say, the USA? Well, I checked data for the average savings of American families and this is what I got:

The average total savings of a United States household is about $52,993 for standard savings and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts as of 2010. The average is $99,149 when it comes to retirement savings accounts as of 2010. The Federal Reserve releases these estimates each year in its "Flow of Funds" report, which lists both average household savings and debt totals.
I sure hope the people who do have savings are protecting the value of their wealth with precious metals and solid investments (no, I don't mean the stock market, either).... People who have all their eggs in one basket and all their their money stashed in one bank account are asking for trouble. There are rumors of an imminent Bank of Japan Yen devaluation.  

Of course, though, comparing life in the USA to life in Japan is like comparing Apples to oranges. Both places have good and bad points... But I always like to remember two of my favorite quotes on money:

"Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort." - Helen Gurley Brown

"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." - Woody Allen

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"protecting the value of their wealth with precious metals"

Looks like it:

Report: Japanese Pension Fund Buying Gold

- clark