Broke and barely paying their bills, most Americans have to ignore pleas to save more. No wonder the US savings rate has plunged to historic lows, experts say.
Only about one-third of Americans are living within their means and with their long-term financial future assured, according to Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).
“I can’t even consider saving,” Shelly Selin, an 80-year-old retiree who lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, told The Post. The former HR executive and his wife, who pay a $2,500 monthly mortgage, finance their retirement mostly from investments, annuities and Social Security. That’s before living expenses, including food and electricity, are factored in.
As a volunteer tax preparer with an active social life, Selin is alarmed at talk of saving. “Bank interest rates are at less than 1 percent, and I’ve heard stories of people saying, ‘I thought I had enough money in CDs, and now I don’t.’ They forget these CDs don’t pay any interest.”
These struggling savers are not alone. The United Way of Northern New Jersey charity has coined a new term, ALICE, for the vast population of low- and moderate-income households that are now sometimes a paycheck away from financial disaster.
For ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed consumers), saving is often the last thing on their minds.
“They are barely getting by,” said Laura Bruno of the United Way of Northern New Jersey. “They are not able to put any more aside for savings, so if they have one emergency — [for example, if] the car breaks down — they can find themselves in real trouble.”
Despite today’s bank come-ons for new savers — $200 cash bonuses are one recent incentive — hard-core savers are scarce.
As shoppers rushed to the mall this past Christmas, the savings rate (the percentage of disposable income households are putting aside) declined to an 11-month low of 3.9 percent.
Analysts are not surprised. “The American government strongly believes that people should spend as much money as they get,” said bank analyst Dick Bove of Rafferty Capital Markets.
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When purchasing a system, the average homeowner recovers their investment in approximately 5-7 years and then produces FREE electricity for the remaining life of the panels. Solar panels are warranted for 25 years but are known to last for decades longer.
The money you save each month allows you to recover your investment quickly.
The payments on financing can also be less than what you would pay to PG&E, which creates positive cash flow from day one, when you turn on your solar power system.
There are variables for each system that determine system costs, which are outlined below. But some of these factors can be controlled by your usage patterns as we see with time-of-use metering.
Increase your savings with a smaller system.
Time-of-use metering allows you to significantly reduce your energy bills so that you can realize a greater benefit from a smaller-sized system. This is done by timing your energy use so that the energy consumed is billed at a lower rate than the energy produced.
Incentives & Rebates
Federal and State rebates, credits and grants.
The state and federal governments encourage residents to use non-polluting renewable energy by offering incentives that lower the cost of installing solar power in homes and businesses. Realize significant savings with Federal tax credits, State rebates and cash grants.
Other Variables Effecting Solar Installation Costs
Energy usage. Start with your energy consumption. You can get a copy of your usage from PG&E. Take a look at your monthly kW numbers. This is the approximate amount of solar you will need to produce to zero out or reduce your bill, taking into consideration variations in weather, time of year, etc.
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Equipment. Not all solar panels are equal. Some have a higher efficiency rating and produce more energy per panel. This is especially important if you have limited available roof space. You will realize more energy production from fewer panels. Solar Technologies offers the most efficient solar panels on the planet.
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Article Source: http://solartechnologies.com/cm/About-Solar-Power/solar-power-costs.html