Even though financial advisors urge workers to save the equivalent of six months' salary in an emergency fund, Monster.com found that more than one-third of the U.S. workers (34%) it surveyed admitted that they have only one week or less of savings to cover living expenses if they were to be laid off or incapacitated. Sixteen% said they had four to eight weeks of savings and 14% said they were prepared for 3-5 months. Only 20% said they would meet the six-month goal. Retirement Americans between the ages of 55-45 have, on average, a savings of $22,500 I 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement plans. Ages 46-54 average $44,000 in these plans and those in the 46-54 demographic have savings of $69,000, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Debt The Federal Reserve pegs total household debt at about $13.7 trillion and total outstanding consumer debt at $2.55 trillion. Home mortgage debt comes in at $10.4 trillion The average debt load for American households, excluding mortgages, is nearly $17,000.