American Consumer Credit Counseling Offers Tips on Saving for Retirement

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National nonprofit ACCC provides consumers with strategies to save for retirement on a budget

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“After paying off debt and bills, it can be a real challenge to make sure you are also saving enough for retirement, especially if you are already living pay check to pay check.”

Regardless of your age, it is never too early to start thinking about life after work. National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling offers a set of helpful tips on saving for retirement on a budget.

“Many consumers underestimate how much savings is needed to get by once they retire, and often it’s much more than they first realize,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, Mass. “After paying off debt and bills, it can be a real challenge to make sure you are also saving enough for retirement, especially if you are already living pay check to pay check.”

According to a survey by non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute, a third of workers say they have less than $1,000 in savings for retirement and 57 percent say they have less than $25,000 in savings. Of the people with a retirement plan, only 14 percent do not feel confident they have enough money saved for retirement, whereas, 44 percent of people who don’t have a plan do not feel confident in their retirement savings.

It is important for consumers to figure out their retirement goals. First they should decide the age at which they plan to retire, where they would like to retire, and if they plan on downsizing or staying put. Once you have figured out how much money you will need to achieve your retirement goals, use the retirement calculator to figure out if you will have enough to retire.

American Consumer Credit Counseling offers these tips on saving for retirement on a budget:

1.    Adjust your budget as life priorities change. A Household Budgeting Worksheet can help you stay organized and track your expenses.
2.    Start saving now. Savings add up no matter how big or small. Make sure to start saving as much as you are able to, as early as possible.
3.    Pay off all debt. Carrying debt into retirement will cause monthly bills – and interest – to pile up, which will drain your savings. Develop a plan that enables you to pay off debt before you retire so that you can use savings on other necessities, such as food, medical care and housing.
4.    Track your spending. Knowing exactly where your money goes every month will allow you to set some funds aside for your future goals, such as retirement.
5.    Cut unnecessary spending. Reduce spending money on things you do not need without feeling deprived. Start with something simple, like bringing your lunch to work rather than eating out every day.
6.    Check your retirement plan at your work place. Some 401k plans include benefits, such as direct deposit from your paycheck, which can automate the retirement saving process.
7.    Set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account. With each paycheck you receive, make sure a percentage goes into your savings account dedicated to your retirement funds.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  •     For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  •     For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  •     For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  •     Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. ACCC provides individuals with practical debt solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help them determine the best plan of action to get out of debt and regain financial stability. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.

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