The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® Supports America Saves Week

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Retirement and Home Ownership Underscore the Importance of Savings

National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Americans approaching retirement with little or no savings are setting themselves up for very hard times.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC) is proud to support America Saves Week February 23 – 28, 2015. America Saves is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. “Savings is the foundation for financial stability, especially in challenging economic times,” said Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the NFCC. “Goals like home ownership and retirement are difficult to reach without a healthy savings account.”

Americans wondering if they are prepared for home ownership or retirement should measure their savings against what is required:

  •     A person wishing to buy a house should be prepared to make an average down payment for 20 percent of the purchase price. For a home selling at $300,000, the down payment would be $60,000.
  •     During retirement, it is recommended that a person withdraw no more than 4 percent of their account balance per year.

Consider the following facts from America Saves:

  •     Only 34% of Americans say they are making “good” or “excellent” progress meeting their saving needs.
  •     Only 51% of Americans say they have a saving plan with specific goals.
  •     Only 43% of Americans have a spending plan that allows for sufficient savings.

Even more troubling data comes from the NFCC’s most recent Financial Literacy Survey, which revealed that 32 percent of consumers do not save any portion of their annual income for retirement and just 16 percent have sufficient non-retirement emergency savings. “Americans approaching retirement with little or no savings are setting themselves up for very hard times,” continued McClary. “The same is true for those wishing to purchase a home, and discovering they do not have enough to make a minimum down payment. The America Saves campaign provides consumers with the tools through which they can begin to build savings in order to reach their financial goals.”

America Saves was founded in 2001 to encourage non-saving Americans to save through a social marketing approach. Close to 1,000 nonprofit, government and corporate organizations – including many NFCC Member Agencies - in over 50 local areas participate in America Saves Week, and have successfully encouraged and assisted hundreds of thousands of savers through the years.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services. NFCC Members annually help millions of consumers through more than 600 community-based offices nationwide. For free and affordable confidential advice through a reputable NFCC Member, call (800) 388-2227, (en Español (800) 682-9832) or visit http://www.nfcc.org.

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