Week encourages financial health

Published 12:48 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The personal savings rate is near zero.

Most Americans are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower–income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenditures such as a car repair.

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

During America Saves Week, Feb. 22–March 1, individuals are encouraged and assisted to assess their savings progress and take action to advance this progress.

This encouragement and assistance is encouraged by Alabama Cooperative Extension System because we have an interest in improving the financial security of individuals and families.

Some examples of our goals for America Saves Week include that:

uEmployers encourage and make it easier for employees to participate in savings and retirement programs

uBanks and credit unions promote automatic transfers from checking to savings and investments

uMortgage lenders help consumers attain homeownership by saving the down payment on a first mortgage loan

uNonprofits promote savings programs such as individual development accounts

uFinancial educators discuss savings opportunities such as automatic deposits and the “miracle” of interest compounding

uThe media report and editorialize about personal savings activities and the activities of the Week

uIndividuals take action to save more effectively and encourage family and friends to do the same

Please take the time to celebrate America Saves Week by opening a new savings account, adding to an existing account, or assisting others to save. America Saves Week runs from Feb. 22–March 1.

For more information, contact your local Alabama Cooperative Extension office, or visit http://www.americasaves.org.