Driving in China sucks and more in this week's By the Numbers.

By the numbers: Mostly depressing

What did we learn from this week’s financial research? Americans can’t save and driving in China is a nightmare…


That’s all the “average working-age U.S. household” has saved for retirement, according to a study released yesterday by the AARP. That’s household, not individual. Even worse, “Over 4 out of 10 households irrespective of age have NO retirement savings.” AARP called that a “disheartening story.” We call it a horror story.


Percent of Americans “who do not believe that America will be considered the ‘land of opportunity’ in 10 years.” These depressing results were released Monday by PR firm Burson-Marsteller, which also found a majority also believe the next decade will bring more divorces (63 percent) and longer waits at airports (47 percent).The only good news: “20 percent expect to buy an electric car in 10 years.”


Percent of Americans who plan to save money for the rest of the year by eating out less. That’s down 6 percent from this time last year, according to a Harris poll released yesterday. More interesting, 5 percent plan to buy a boat or RV — up 1 percent from last year.


The “basis point variance” that Lending Tree discovered this week when it looked at mortgage companies offering the same loan to the same people. In other words, Lending Tree scoured the nation for a 30-year fixed rate home loan for $223,692. The results ranged by those 36.5 basis points. Put in terms of cold hard cash: “It translates into a potential savings amount of $47.49 per month, $575.64 per year or by $17,269 over the life of the loan.” Moral of the story: It pays to shop around.


Days of the year that Chinese workers spend stuck in traffic. That’s according to a study released yesterday by TomTom, which makes traffic-navigation products. So they know what they’re talking about. Of course, the question is: How about America? At last in this one category, we kick China’s ass. We spend a mere 60 hours stuck in traffic — 2 1/2 days.

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