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  • Outstanding non-secured consumer debt rose from $805 billion in 1990 to $1.65 trillion in 2001.
  • 40% of Americans say they live beyond their means.
  • The personal savings rate as-a percentage of GDP decreased from 7.5% in the early 80's to 2.4% in 2002 During 'World War II, Americans were saving more than 24%.
  • The U.S. has the lowest personal savings rate of any major industrialized nation.
  • The percentage of income used for household debt (payments, including mortgages, credit cards, and student loans) rose to the highest level in more than a decade in 2001 and remained at 14% in 2002.
  • Approximately 10,000,000 Americans, the 'unbanked,' are not using mainstream, insured financial institutions.
  • Nearly 5% of consumers are late with their credit card payments.
  • 48% of credit card owners only pay their minimum monthly payment each month.
  • Credit card spending jumped 8.1 % in the 1st half of 2002.
  • Average U.S. credit card debt per household is on the rise: from $2,985 in 1990 to $8,562 in 2002, with an average interest rate of 14.71 %.
  • More than half of American families are not saving enough to preserve their standard of living in retirement.
  • Between 1983 and 1998, 2/3rds of the defined benefit or traditional pension plans in the US were terminated.
  • Half of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Christmas 2001 was the highest level of consumer debt in US history.
  • Median pre-tax household income fell by more than $900 from $43,162 in 2000 to $42,228 in 2001. Income dropped everywhere but the top.
  • More than half of American workers between the ages of 45 and 54 did not have any kind of retirement account in 1998. Data compiled in 2000 showed half of those in the 55 to 64 age range had balances of less than $33,000.
  • 66% of Americans don't pay off their entire credit card bill each month.
  • Life expectancy in the US recently reached a record high, with an average lifespan of 74.1 years for men and 79.5 years for women.
  • One in four women currently retires on an income below the poverty level.
  • Over the next 40 years, the number of women over 85 is expected to at least triple, with 3/4ths of this population single, divorced, or widowed.
  • The net worth of the average middle class American household after accounting for debt is less than $10,000.  50.8% of college-age adults agree with this statement: "I have experienced repeated, unsuccessful attempts to control, cut back or stop excessive money use."
  • 64.8% of college-age adults agree with this statement: I experience a mood change (high or low) just before or after a shopping event.