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America Saves Week Save money build wealth

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PLANT CITY, Fla. (2/21/12)--After years of bad economic news, the last thing you may be thinking about is saving some of your already stretched cash for a rainy day. As you wait for economic recovery, refocus on, or learn, why saving is vital (CU Insight Feb. 14):

  • The job market is volatile and unpredictable.
  • One-third of Americans have no retirement savings.
  • Retirement plan and individual retirement account values are down.
  • Home prices have declined, meaning less equity to draw on in retirement.
  • Health care costs outpace the rate of inflation.
  • Defined benefit pension plans are a thing of the past with most employers.
  • Lawmakers are looking at ways to reduce Social Security and Medicare costs by increasing the minimum retirement age or reducing benefits.
If you don't have at least six to nine month's income put aside for a financial emergency and don't see how you can achieve that goal, you can take smaller steps. Even $500 in your savings account--achieved by a weekly $10 automatic transfer from checking to savings for a year--could make a big difference in a sticky situation.

During America Saves Week, which ends Saturday, take advantage of free resources on AmericaSavesWeek.org to develop, monitor and maintain a budget that helps you save money and build your personal wealth.

Coordinated by America Saves and the America Savings Education Council, America Saves Week targets individuals who want help saving money. The website includes links for organizations, financial institutions, non-profits and governmental institutions, the media, military families, educators and youth groups.

AmericaSavesWeek.org has resources to help you create and commit to a basic savings plan, track those savings, sign up for free quarterly newsletters, receive monthly e-mails containing savings tips and advice from national experts, and more. The people at your credit union can offer strategies and savings options, as well.

And for more help building your saving habit, use the calculator "What's It Worth to Cut Back My Spending?" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.