Smaller Cities Rank Higher on Savings Barometer

December 13, 2005 ( - According to A.G. Edwards Nest Egg Index, smaller communities are doing better at saving, aided by low unemployment and relatively high rates of 401(k) participation.

The Index which ranks America’s 200 top-performing communities and the 50 states based on residents’ personal savings and investing behavior, shows that people in the eastern US are generally better at building personal savings than others, according to A.G. Edwards announcement.

San Josein California earned the top spot on the Nest Egg Index, with the Nassau-Suffolk counties on New York’s Long Island ranking number two.   Three New Jersey markets in the New York metro area ranked among the top ten.

“There may be a perception that economic and savings opportunities are more limited in smaller cities,”A.G. Edwards Financial Planning Specialist Sophie Beckmann, CFP, CPA said, in the announcement. “But in many of the small markets that scored well on the Nest Egg Index, unemployment is lower than the national average, and participation in savings plans such as 401(k)s is relatively high.”

The states that ranked in the top five, according to the Index, were New Jersey, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

Concerned that the national personal savings rate reported by the US Department of Commerce is the lowest in years, A.G. Edwards wanted the Nest Egg Index to call attention to the problem.   The index measures a dozen statistical factors, including participation in retirement savings plans, personal debt levels and home ownership.  

“A number of factors influence how well people are doing at building their nest eggs,” said Beckmann. “There are external forces involved, such as economic trends and cost of living. But other factors, such as starting early, participating in a retirement plan at work and keeping personal debt low, are based on personal choices that help foster financial security for individuals and families, regardless of where they live.”