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Nearly half of households teeter near financial ruin

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By Shan Li
Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Nearly 44 percent of American households are one emergency away from financial ruin.

That means they don't have enough savings to cover basic living expenses for three months if something unforeseen happens, such as losing a job or falling sick, according to a study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development. Almost a third of Americans have no savings account at all.

“These families have had to prioritize today's expenses over tomorrow's goals,” said Andrea Levere, the group's president.

Many people living precariously have jobs. About 75 percent are working full time, and more than 15 percent are earning middle-class incomes of more than $55,000 a year.

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