Celebrated every third week in October, National Retirement Security Week is a concentrated effort to raise awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. When Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) introduced the first resolution establishing National Save for Retirement Week in 2006, one of the goals was to encourage employees to save and participate in their employer-sponsored retirement plans.
In 2016, recognizing the significant increasing cost of retirement, the Senate passed Resolution 575 supporting the goals of educating the public on personal financial literacy.
Today, national campaigns exist every year to encourage the public to save for retirement even during economic downturns or market declines, making continued contributions all the more important.
CBS partner Vanguard offers a host of tips on preparing for retirement, but saving early tops the list.
- Start early.Time is money. Thanks to compounding, the value of your investment can increase over time when your earnings generate interest and capital appreciation.
- Take advantage of your employer match.If your employer offers to match a percentage of your contribution to an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k), contribute at least enough to get the full match. After all, the match is a 100% immediate return on your investment!
- Increase your savings each year.Increasing the percentage of your income you save by 1% a year and earmarking a certain percentage of every raise or bonus for retirement can add up to big savings over time. Work toward saving 10%–15% of your annual income (including any employer match) for retirement during your working years.
- Pay yourself first.Automate your savings through paycheck deduction or automatic contribution. Once you enroll, you won’t have to think about saving again until it’s time to increase the amount you save.
Everyone faces questions when it comes to saving for retirement, with everyday decisions coming into play. Vanguard suggests the following to ensure a nest egg in the future:
- First goal should be to save for retirement. You cannot take out a loan to fund your retirement.
- Secondly, pay off any consumer debt you may have. Credit card balances or car loans are usually short-term and not tax-deductible and can carry a high-interest rate as well.
- Start and emergency fund. Once, first two steps are complete, build an emergency fund to cover at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses so that you are not caught off guard when something unexpected happens.
- Save for college. If you have children in your life, this should be next on your list. For most, a 529 savings account offers a mix of benefits that will get the most of your contributions.
Part of the national effort to raise awareness on retirement savings acknowledges in the most recent resolution that Social Security remains the bedrock of retirement for a great majority, but it was never intended by Congress to be the sole source of retirement income for families.
According to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly Social Security benefit for Sept. 2018 was $1,417.
Listen in or check out the transcript on The Planner and the Geek podcast: Retirement readiness
For more information on retirement planning, contact Retirement Planning Services at Christian Brothers Services at 800.807.0700 or visit