A reduction in the saving rate usually affects the amount of capital that a country accumulates, and as a consequence the amount of income per person. Recently the saving rate has decreased in developed countries. This might be due to a change in preference (individuals prefer to consume today rather than later, and this behavior is stronger now).
A recent paper (Iwaisako and Okada, August 2012, a 2010 draft is here ) explores the reduction in the saving rate in Japan in the 2000s. The authors argue that this is due mainly to the reduction in income as a consequence of the financial crisis in Asia in the late 1990s, which has affected mainly older people.
Saving rate in Japan:
Saving rate by age group:
Saving rate, age 60 and over:
Even though the saving rate of households has decreased, the saving rate of corporations has increased. The later is due to the legal restructuring that took place after the crisis.