By Cathy Weatherford, Insured Retirement Institute
As we look back on another successful America Saves Week campaign, it is inspiring to see how passion for a shared goal can motivate so many to work for the common good. The success of The Week is dependent upon the collaborative efforts of thousands of organizations and individuals working together, rallying to help their fellow citizens achieve financial success and attain financial security.
While America Saves Week has drawn to a close, the spirit and the message of the week must live on. Promoting sound savings behaviors will remain instrumental to helping all Americans attain their financial goals. With so many Americans still under-saved and underprepared for the financial challenges ahead, we must continue to rally behind the message of America Saves Week, encouraging savings and positive financial planning behaviors.
One such financial goal that is often overlooked is enjoying a financially secure retirement. As a result of lack of planning and insufficient savings, many Americans are unprepared for their later years. At the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), we have conducted a series of research studies that show just how far off track so many Americans are. In 2013, IRI’s consumer research revealed that only 37 percent of Baby Boomers were confident in their preparations for retirement. Just last month, a new IRI report on Generation X found that during the last two years, the percentage of Gen-Xers lacking confidence in having sufficient savings to live comfortably in retirement doubled from 20 percent in 2012 to 42 percent today.
While the challenges to achieving a secure retirement are vast, the solutions can be quite simple. It all begins with developing a plan and building savings. That’s our message, and that’s why we proudly spearhead a national consumer education coalition committed to helping Americans of all ages understand the importance of long-term retirement planning. Each year to help spread our message, the National Retirement Planning Coalition organizes National Retirement Planning Week®. Activities during the week demonstrate that it is possible to “retire on your terms” if comprehensive retirement plans are properly developed and managed.
National Retirement Planning Week® 2014 will be held April 7 to 11. On behalf of the coalition, we invite you to continue to promote savings by joining with us and participating in the week. To get involved, a toolkit has been prepared for participants to use to help carry the savings message forward. Visit RetireOnYourTerms.org today and find out how you can help be a part of the next chapter in the national movement toward financial security.
Cathy Weatherford is president and CEO of the Insured Retirement Institute. She served for 12 years as CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and was Insurance Commissioner of Oklahoma from 1991 to 1995.