America Saves Week: 'It All Adds Up'
In 2007, America Saves and the America Savings Education Council (ASEC) began America Saves Week - an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. This year, America Saves Week runs Feb. 19-26, 2012.
According to the ASEC, most Americans are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower-income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenses.
"Most of us know it is smart to save money for those big-ticket items we really want to buy - a new television or car or home," the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) writes in Saving Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future. "Yet you may not realize that probably the most expensive thing you will ever buy in your lifetime is your retirement."
The DOL says the two main reasons for insufficient retirement savings are increased longevity and decreased pension plans. Most retirement plans today, such as 401(k)s, exclude part-time employees and the self-employed. Currently, only about 57 percent of all workers are earning retirement benefits at work.
Many Americas assume Social Security will pay for all or most of their retirement needs, when in reality a comfortable retirement plan usually requires Social Security, employer-based retirement benefits, personal savings and investments.
America Saves Week encourages workers to look closely at their savings and the spending habits that may take away from saving. AmericaSavesWeek.org has materials and information that can help you, your children or your grandchildren assess saving for retirement, education and other big-ticket expenses. America Saves Week is an annual reminder to double check your financial stability and encourage you to save. Take the time this week to call our office to set up a review of your retirement plan, or to receive help with explaining the importance of savings to younger generations.
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