The U.S. personal savings rate increased to 4% last month. It is shameful that the number of 4% can be described as an increase in this country. How is it possible that we are saving so little as a nation? With our social safety net in such shambles, with unemployment near 10% and with more or less guaranteed cuts to social security in the coming years, does anyone truly believe that saving 4% of their income will be sufficient to protect them from financial disaster or will be enough to meet their needs in retirement?
Alpaca and I max out our respective 401K's, which is probably still not enough, and we are trying to save as much as we can in after-tax funds. Yes - there is such a thing as saving too much, with the risk being putting your life on hold to pay for some undetermined future event, but everyone needs to have a significant amount of money set aside in case of unforeseen disaster (not to mention as insurance against spending your senior years as a Wal-Mart greeter).
I am not saying we should save 30% or 40% of our national incomes like they do in China or India - that's not even a realistic (or desirable) goal - but isn't something like 10% a target we should aim for?