national

Japanese family's average savings: Y16.64 mil

40 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2012 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

40 Comments
Login to comment

distinguish the difference between 'w' and 'm' ...wake up from make up, things are not as rosy as projected here.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Am right around avg thanks to my wife! If not for her, am sure I would be near or around ZERO.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

that's good & bad news I reckon. As part of the reason why this country is mired in deflation is because people don't spend their money. However, after experiencing the consumer-unfriendly return policies here among retailers (once you buy it, you can't change your mind & return it) I understand why people here are reluctant to spend & keep their money in their coffers. Of course that is not the only reason, but it plays a role in why people here hang on to their yen so tightly.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

These are just averages...as the article point out there are the people in the top 10 to 20% that who hold most of the savings..think your your normal elite " big business owners, doctors, dentists, lawyers....etc plus " the bubble economy boom retirees ...not many younger & middle age families I know have savings anywhere near this figure..

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Saving for a rainy day is better than living above your means.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

So, are these people with any kind of debt? Like a mortgage? Do they own their own homes? Are they yet to buy a property? I'm confused.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'd like to here a little more about the "average family". We're talking families with live-in 20 something children contributing and grannies' and gramps' pensions, too, right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Top few percent hold the bulk with the rest holding a mere pitance, but averaged out it comes to around 16 mill yen per household, not a true reflection of things by anyones calculations.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Agreed, the median number is much more reflective of the situation than the average. But in either case, most of this is likely stuck in Japan Post accounts, which means it earns almost no interest, but does give the J-government a lot of low-interest funds to borrow.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Much like the unemployment rate, the savings rate is measured in different ways by different countries. For example, calculations of the U.S. rate typically exclude unrealized capital gains from investments and pension benefits. Moreoever, pension contributions are not counted as personal savings. Of course, most people would consider these to be savings. Another factor is that the calculations consider any durable good purchase to be personal consumption when in fact it may have been acquired as an investment decision - for example, renovating a kitchen to increase the resale value of a home. A better way to consider the issue is by net worth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

considering that most Japanese main asset is there house & car, which in Japan is a fast depreciating asset, car not worth squat after 10 years, house after 20 years, as salaries continue to drop stagnate these savings will slowly dry up, just shows you that the average Japanese is not wealthy as theyd like you to think.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

much better than spending what you do not have, like western consumers

4 ( +6 / -2 )

However, after experiencing the consumer-unfriendly return policies here among retailers (once you buy it, you can't change your mind & return it) I understand why people here are reluctant to spend & keep their money in their coffers.

Are you serious? People don't spend money because of return policies that don't even actually exist? If you speak Japanese you can return any broken or damaged product just fine.

5 ( +8 / -4 )

BS most families have bugger all. It is the total wealth (mainly held by the top few %) divided by the total number of households. This is not reflective of any true average at all.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There are about 1.5 million people living below the poverty line. A further 30,000+ are homeless. The people in last years disaster zones will see most of their savings disappear trying to rebuild their lives. I think, has it's the case in most developed countries, there's a big gap between the rich and poor.

Total savings is about ¥1400 trillion.

In addition there's about ¥90 trillion out of circulation. Money kept at home.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

take some of the savings and go holiday and enjoy life you cant take this money into ur grave!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@wtfjapan: not a home-owner in Japan so I don't really know about this... do home values actually depreciate over time??? I assume most people don't look at home ownership as an investment in Japan. what about the land that its built on?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is the average amount, not what the rich have. Assume a household with average income has this average figure in savings and you are close.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Average? This is a joke. A few fat cats raises the average. Huge difference between the 16.64 and the 9.91 median the write about later.

And 9.91? Just me or is that a rather low sum considering how few have kids?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

An average figure is meaningless. More interesting would be a mean figure, i.e. one that shows in which range the majority of people are.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I've got 10,000 yen stashed under the mattress for a rainy day...

Oh no, just remembered... I spent it last week in Hub...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Median savings are more informative IMO as the average is distorted by the high numbers of the top 10%.

Overall the household savings rate has been decreasing continuously during the last 20 years and it is now at a very low level, 2% in 2009.

Japan’s ability to sustain high fiscal deficits, low interest rates, and net capital exports has been possible because of its high private saving rate, which has kept national saving positive. But, with the current low rate of household saving, the cycle of rising deficits and debt will soon make national saving negative. A shift from deflation to low inflation would accelerate this process. CommentsThe result in Japan would then be rising real interest rates as the low private saving rate runs head-on into large fiscal deficits. That would weaken the stock market, lower business investment, and impede economic growth.

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/japan-s-savings-crisis

0 ( +1 / -1 )

with this much money ucan alwasy move to zimbabwe and live like trillionaires

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow! Well,we were way below that average then by millions! We didn't spend more than was necessary, still don't. With three kids the money is spent before it's earnt at times!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

An average figure is meaningless. More interesting would be a mean figure

Did you read the article? It gives both.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

sure wish the government would follow suit and save, if even only paltry sums initially, like its citizens do.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Also, many of the savings are earmarked. Even if key money and entrances fees are smaller and less common, they still exist and a number of people just have the cash getting ready, and will have to hand in out in a few months. It's university tuitions for kids next year, money to buy some modest flat in 2 year for a couple staying in corporate flat and reaching retirement... etc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

After reading this, I have to dump those credit cards.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Quite impressed the median savings of 2/3 of the household is over $100K and all the other households have even more. Can't say that here in the US.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some things that intrigue me about this article so forgive my skepticism and feelings of inadequacy

1) 16.64 million Yen is twice the average salary, so the average salary is about 8 million per year or 660000 Yen per month? With more and more people working for around 1100 Yen per hour and most jobs advertising their initial salary about 240000 per month - I find this figure incredibly hard to believe.

2) There seem to be dozens of high-interest pay-day lenders around. A scary amount in fact. How do these companies not only survive but thrive when people have so much money stashed away.

In order to save 2 years salary, you would have to save 20% of your salary for ten solid years without dipping into it. Not sure about the rest of you, but saving 20% of my salary raising a family would be a dream come true. Any hints??

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And yet with majority of middle/lower income groups savings shrinking, the buffoons in charge insist on doubling consumption tax, i.e. rob the littler people more to finance government profligacy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A Japanese family with only 10m savings is poor.

Now just so we are clear here, 10m Yen is roughly $125000 USD. Do you look at poor looking families in Japan and assume they have $125000 stashed away at home?

If a family was earning 6m Yen per annum, again it would take about 10 years of hardcore saving to get near 10m.

And your assumption is based on the idea that the parents will not be earning another Yen before their child graduates. Which as a rule wouldnt happen.

Not sure about Japan but very decent US college degree costs about $50000.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Am right around avg thanks to my wife! If not for her, am sure I would be near or around ZERO

I`m right around ZERO thanks to my wife! If not for her, am sure I would be near or around avg.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The government is going to end up robbing everybody. Most of these savings are eventually in government bonds, either through the J-post or insurance policies. The younger generation doesn't save nearly as much, if anything, as the older generation. That means the J-government is going to have to resort to money printing to continue it's spending, which will lead to inflation, which means all this saved money will be worthless in 10 or 20 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Paddy - do I take it you're planning on paying your mortgage out of your savings? Interest on what you borrow is way more than interest on what you save, so I would advise you to take your savings out of the bank and make a lump-sum payment on your mortgage, especially if you have many years left to pay. You'll save yourself millions in interest.

As for education - an arts degree at a private uni is a little less than 1m per year, so 4m, 5m if Junior goes off for a year as an exchange student. Public uni is cheaper and science subjects a bit more expensive, but if push comes to shove there are 'scholarships' (=student loans) to paper over the cracks. No need to panic.

Hard to understand from the article (or maybe I'm just having a thick day today), but does 'savings' just mean money in the bank/PO/investments, or does it mean that minus debt? Where do other assets/liabilities (property, mortgages etc) fit in? If mortgages are included in 'debt', then an average of ¥4.62 seems very low; if not, it seems frighteningly high.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Patrick, Your comment relies on, as Cleo pointed out, that the costs of education and housing come from savings. Also that those paying for the education and mortgage do not have an income and will never do so again. In this case, yes, 10m is not enough. However, most people who have 10m saved up have incomes that will cover the costs of mortgage, education and other daily necessities. If you do in fact have 10m stashed away, I congratulate you on your thrift or commiserate the loss of a caring relative. Either way, you have enough money to put your kids through school comfortably.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Paddy, a salaryman aged 45 isn't going to get a 35-year mortgage - most banks/loan organizations/insurance companies insist the lender must be no older than 70 (often younger) when the last payment is due. So the longest he can get is likely to be 25 years probably less, and the monthly repayments will be that much higher, making it less likely that he will be able to save much, especially if he has kids hitting uni. Lots of people plan on paying off what's left of the mortgage out of their retirement lump sum, but I'm not sure that counts as 'savings' - and with the economy in the state it is, the lump sum is going the way of lifelong employment.

There's no need for 10m-16m for education bills unless, as DentShop, suggests, the family plans to have no income by the time the kids enter uni.

And the jab at 'single English teachers' was uncalled for, n'est pas?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My advice to others is to do the same!

My advice is to stretch your Japanese mortgage out as long as possible.

1) Interest rates are nearly 0% so there is basically no incentive to pay it off early. Use the extra money you have to invest in your home country (if possible at interest rates over 6% and in retirement accounts that arent tortured by the government)

2) Japanese houses only ever depreciate and are difficult to sell.

Even if a Japanese bank "readjusts" your mortgage as stated above, the effect will be minimal, almost unnoticeable. The banks in Japan are so competitive and dont want to lose any customers. The foreclosure laws in Japan arent as harsh as the US.

Patricks posts are mostly based on pessimistic assumptions that will probably never even come true.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Cleo, I was wondering the same - are they including mortgages and loans in this figure or not? Because I can tell you that in my husband's company NONE of the new home owners around our age have that much in savings. I also think some of this money is inheritance money so the idea this has come from salaries is incorrect.

I am pretty good at saving money (started a retirement fund at 21), investing and whatnot. So is my husband but if we went and bought a house right now (which we are thinking of), no way would be have an average of 16.64 nor the 9.91 figure they are talking about. Now if his parents kicked the bucket and we got everything, we would. My husband and I both have good jobs. No way in hell does your average family in Japan our age have this kind of money laying around. To think that people is just scary.

Cleo, I keep taking notes from your comments on how to pay off things and pay less in the long run - keep them coming please!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dentshop, tax increases from 2014 are a fact.

You sure? You had better check that again.

Declining savings are a fact.

Actually, according to the article, savings increased 0.4% on last year.

Current retirement ages and pensionable ages are facts.

Yeah. So?

You seem not to know the difference between an interest rate in the post office or bank here and the interest rate on a large loan.

You seem to know a lot about what I know. But trying to have a discussion with you is very frustrating when you keep moving the goalposts.

You have changed your argument starting with a young man with no income trying to pay for mortgage and his kids education with savings that heaven knows how he accumulated, to a 45 year old man trying to use his savings to buy his first home assuming again that he doesnt have an income and then finally a 60 year old with only 16 million Yen saved up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites