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Don’t let lessons of Alabama Saves Week pass you by

Published 4:58pm Tuesday, March 15, 2011

By RUTH BROCK / Guest Columnist

Most Alabamians are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower-income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenses, such as car repairs.

With more encouragement and support, more Alabamians will build wealth, not debt.

During Alabama Saves Week, which was February 21-26, individuals were encouraged and assisted to review their savings progress and take action to advance this progress.

This encouragement and assistance is echoed by Alabama Cooperative Extension System, which has an interest in improving the financial security of individuals and families.

Some examples of our goals for Alabama Saves Week included:

-Employers encouraging and making it easier for employees to participate in savings and retirement programs.

-Banks and credit unions promoting automatic transfers from checking to savings and investments.

-Mortgage lenders helping consumers attain home ownership by saving the down payment on a first mortgage loan.

-Nonprofits promoting savings programs such as individual development accounts.

-Financial educators discussing savings opportunities such as automatic deposits and the “miracle” of interest compounding.

-Individuals taking action to save more effectively and encourage family and friends to do the same. Please take the time to help continue the Alabama Saves Week celebration by opening a new savings account, adding to an existing account or assisting others to save. For more information, contact your local Alabama Cooperative Extension office, or visit Americasaves.org.

Ruth Brock is a regional extension agent serving Blount, Cullman, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, and Walker counties. For more information, e-mail brockru@aces.edu or phone612-4066.

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