Money Minute: Few Americans Saving Enough; Delta Overhauls Awards Program

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Two-thirds of all Americans say they aren't saving enough.

A survey from the Consumer Federation of America finds only a third of us feel we're making "good" or "excellent" progress toward meeting our savings goals. As for the rest of us, not so much. For most people, regardless of income level, it's a simple matter of spending more than we earn. Basically, the more we make, the more we spend. Another problem: about half of us don't even have specific savings goals.

Another research report -- this one from the liberal think tank, the National Bureau of Economic Research -- finds the U.S. in 2014 is less equal than the England of Downton Abbey 100 years ago. It says the rich take home a greater share of the national income now than they did back then, and that the poor are in worse shape than the butlers, servants and cooks in the 1920s.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) is the latest and largest carrier to overhaul its frequent flier program.
Beginning next year, Delta will award miles based on how much you spend rather than how far you fly. Its SkyMiles program has 91 million members. Southwest Airlines (LUV), JetBlue Airways (JBLU) and others have already made similar changes, and industry experts say American Airlines (AAL) and United Continental Holdings (UAL) are likely to follow suit.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 27 points Tuesday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 5, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged 2 points lower.

Expect a new series of books on the financial crisis from the people who were at the center of the storm. Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's book is titled "Stress Test." He says it will "answer some of the questions that still linger about the crisis."

And former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is writing his memoir. He says it will let readers know -- "what we knew, when we knew it, how we made decisions, and how we dealt with the enormous economic uncertainty."

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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38 Comments

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ScooterMannnnnnn

No matter what Delta does.....they will fail.
They have the customer loyalty of a pit viper.

February 27 2014 at 1:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
usbobaruba

Too bad the writer of Delta's program could not do a proper full story.
They should have explained what is happening in detail.

February 26 2014 at 10:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

If badevan isn't coming to this party, I'm outahere.

February 26 2014 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Mily may be sensitive. It could be that time of the month.

February 26 2014 at 9:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Tom Wilson

mily469
lies. airline pilots in the early 80's were making $250,000 today $60.000 for most airlines. ******** Air travel in the early 80's was an enjoyable experience, not riding the cattle car. MOOOOOOO

February 26 2014 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
legacykwst

As for Downton Abbey - the servants portrayed in Downton Abbey had the plumb jobs of the British domestic servant world. Odds are they made a good wage in a highly respected household. Some would have lived with families in the village nearby, others would have had rooms in servants quarters. Most also got their meals. The really bad jobs of the era were the factory workers.... altho' by the 1920s, unions were improving factory workers' lots. However, it was very easy to "fall from grace." If you got fired from such a household, it could make getting any sort of job very difficult. Those were the days when letters of recommendation counted.

February 26 2014 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
legacykwst

Not much of a way to save when there's not enough income to even meet basic needs... Nowadays, basic needs include extremely high rent in most areas, utilities, food with increasing prices, health insurance, & in order to work, in many areas, you almost have to have a car with accompanying costs & cell phone. I've lost out on jobs for not have the *right* kind of cell phone.

February 26 2014 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jwm347

Why save? obummer is gving away the store and the line just keeps getting longer

February 26 2014 at 7:15 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Mike

need to look into this Delta change...tons of miles with them. Might take a few big trips or see if another airline will accept the miles. They used to do that if you switched over, but haven't looked into it for year.

February 26 2014 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shorthosep

I have tried to hammer it into my childrens heads that in my opinion they need to save(invest) 15% of their income to be able to retire. When I was working (jn a defined retirement system) we contributed 5% with what ended up as a similar5% match by my employeer. I started this 30 days after my start date. Or should I say this was imposed upon me by my employeer. We didn't have a choice. Thank goodness this happened. I also had free health care with no deductables or co-pays, a wage that steadily increased as long as I worked. I have pretty much come to the conclusion that futre generations,middle class and below will never save enough to retire. Retirement will be left only for the rich or as my children tell me the only money we'll have for retirement is what my wife and I leave them when we're gone. .

February 26 2014 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply