The concept of "retirement" is a relatively recent one in America, but not the importance of setting aside resources in anticipation of a future goal. Thanks to the underpinnings of programs like Social Security, and the support of workplace retirement plans, more Americans can look forward to a financially satisfying retirement than ever before.
However, a recent national survey found that an increasing number of Americans are having difficulty saving to meet goals ranging from meeting emergencies to affording retirement. That survey also noted that, over the past three years, there has been a decline in the number of people who spend less than their income and save the difference, are building home equity, have adequate emergency savings, and think they are saving enough for retirement.
Over the years, the Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) has found that those who have taken the time to do a retirement needs assessment are generally more confident about their financial prospects for retirement-but most (56 percent) of the respondents to the 2012 RCS admit neither they nor their spouse have made even a single attempt to determine how much they will need to achieve that comfortable retirement.
That is why the Employee Benefit Research EBRI joined many others in 1995 to establish the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), and then launch the Choose to Save®; program and the BallparkE$timate.® Since then, millions of Americans have used the BallparkE$timate® at www.choosetosave.org/asec to help them climb the hill to savings and greater financial security, and - according to the RCS - a more realistic view of the future.
The opportunities for, and impediments to, saving have never been greater. Americans are living longer, but at the same time must prepare for potential reductions in programs such as Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and retiree health insurance. Through the collective efforts of ASEC's institutional partners, we hope to continue to have a significant impact on savings and economic security as we help Americans save and plan for the future.
Won't you join us?
Nevin E. Adams
Director, American Savings Education Council
Chairman ASEC's Policy Board