Whenever I purchase something online with Target or Walmart, a portion of what I spend goes to my retirement plan. It's a no-brainer
Coral Springs, FL (PRWEB) February 6, 2011
Florida-based company, XtraPlan, has introduced the ultimate membership program. The XtraPlan program is designed to help Americans increase their retirement savings WITHOUT contributing personal funds, making the program the perfect investment tool during these challenging economic times and an aging Baby Boomer generation.
Twenty-six-year-old Abby Jons of Orlando found a way to funnel money into her retirement fund each time she buys coffee from Starbucks or a book from Barnes & Noble. Similarly, 57-year-old Thomas Liberto of Lake Worth is rebuilding his nest egg by shopping for products and services he normally pays for anyway, from clothes to light bulbs to lunch at a local restaurant
Both joined a fledgling South Florida-based financial management service called XtraPlan.org that allows members to earn back a portion of day-to-day shopping bills via automated deposits made by participating online merchants into an investment account.
In short, you shop, and money ends up in your retirement investment account. "Whenever I purchase something online with Target or Walmart, a portion of what I spend goes to my retirement plan. It's a no-brainer," said Jons, a software company employee. "I believe you are never too young to start saving for retirement. And I can do it every time I buy Americano at Starbucks for me and my fiance."
There is no cost to join XtraPlan.org and members start earning contributions toward retirement as soon as they sign up and begin to shop online with participating national retailers. Once members earn $50 in contributions, which are made by the retailers based on a percentage of their online shopping bills, an investment account is automatically set up.
Members then continue to build up the account as they shop online with a designated list of thousands of retailers, including Walgreens, Home Depot, Target, Best Buy, Gap, Kohl's, Sam's Club, Staples, Sears, Toys R Us, H&R Block and Old Navy. Each retailer offers a different percentage back per purchase, ranging from 1 percent to 20 percent.
For instance, Walmart offers 2 percent of the total bill back per purchase. If you eat out, you'll be glad to know that deals for meals abound at local establishments offering the highest retirement rewards. Just sign in at http://www.XtraPlan.org, link to http://www.Restaurants.com to choose a participating eatery and then purchase a $25 gift card for as low as $10. On top of that savings, members may also earn as much as 20 percent of the $10 they paid for the gift card, which then goes toward their retirement account.
All investment accounts are set up and managed by Harbor Capital Advisory Services, an investment advisory firm with offices in New York, Texas and California which is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Harbor Capital offers XtraPlan.org members three different retirement portfolios, which cover conservative, moderate and aggressive-type accounts, as wells as free, unlimited phone service with account managers.
"I could not save as much by any other way," Liberto said. "Why should I leave all of my money at Macy's, Walgreens, Home Depot or Target? This way, I get to take some of my money back as an investment in my future."
Not long ago it was common for employers to offer employees retirement plans, many even providing matching funds to a tax-deferred account. But the bad economy has led employers to cut back on contributions or end programs altogether.
"This is a one-of-a-kind program, there is nothing like this," said Kuba Farbiarz, CEO of XtraPlan.org, which is located in Fort Lauderdale and began signing up members without a marketing or advertising campaign as early as October. "We have 2,900 members signed up and it has all been word of mouth."
Farbiarz said XtraPlan.org aims to make the whole retirement process simpler and less of a burden financially for average consumers. Members can start an XtraPlan.org account one of two ways; spend enough to earn a minimum of $50 toward a new account. Once that happens, the account is deducted a one-time set-up fee of $25 and the remaining $25 goes into the new account. More money accumulates as members shop with XtraPlan.org retailers. Members may also pay $50 to automatically set up an account.
"People don't have the extra money these days to save for retirement," Farbiarz said. "We are offering them a way to do it by doing like they always do, shop."
Article written by Daniel Vasquez on consumer issues a Sun Sentinel Columnist - To see more columns from Daniel Vasquez, go to SunSentinel.com/vasquez
For more information, visit http://www.savefreedollars.com.
Charles Blakemore 407-832-1996 email: judy(at)xtraplan(dot)org
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