Forget spring cleaning; scrub down your budget instead
Judith Bartels, Social Security district manager in Springfield
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[April 19, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- Spring is officially
here. That means it's time for spring cleaning.
People everywhere are shedding the effects of fall and
winter. But what about dusting off your long-term financial plan?
April is National Financial Literacy Month -- the perfect time to
spring into action when it comes to planning your financial future.
And if you already have a plan, this is a great opportunity to take
According to a 2011 survey by the Employee Benefit
Research Institute, more than half of workers report they've put
away less than $25,000 in total savings and investments; a whopping
29 percent have less than $1,000 saved for the future.
If you haven't started already, now is the time to begin saving
for your retirement -- no matter what your age. If retirement is
near, you'll want to jump into the fast lane right away. If you're
younger and retirement seems a lifetime away, it's still in your
best interest to begin saving now, as compound interest will work to
your advantage. Experts agree that saving when you're young will
make a world of difference when the time comes to draw on your
Don't take our word for it. You can check out the numbers
yourself. A great place to start figuring out how much you will need
for retirement is to learn how much you could expect from Social
Security. You can do that in minutes with Social Security's online
The Retirement Estimator offers an instant and personalized
estimate of your future Social Security retirement benefits based on
your earnings record. Try it out at
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We encourage encourages saving for retirement, but there are
reasons to save for every stage of life. A great place to go for
help is www.mymoney.gov. MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's
website dedicated to teaching Americans the basics about financial
education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your
checkbook or investing in your 401(k) plan, the resources on
www.mymoney.gov can help you.
Another excellent resource is the "Ballpark E$timator" at
www.choosetosave.org/ballpark. This online tool takes complicated
issues, like projected Social Security benefits and earnings
assumptions on savings, and turns them into language and numbers
that are easy to understand.
Spring into action. Get started right now at
[By JUDITH BARTELS,
Social Security district manager in