Feb. 22 – 26 is America Saves Week, an initiative of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), that has been celebrated annually for the past 14 years. The CFA works to help people save by encouraging them to take a closer look at their finances and saving habits.
During this week, I encourage Tennesseans to join more than 2,000 partnering organizations, representing a diverse and impressive group of companies, nonprofits, educational institutions, military services, government agencies and financial institutions in promoting the importance of saving.
Since 2007, America Saves Week has been an annual celebration as well as a call to action for Americans to commit to saving. The America Saves Pledge creates a framework for individuals to make a financial plan and set goals to achieve better financial stability. Tennessee consumers should take advantage of this time to consider the importance of smart long-term saving, financial planning and investing.
Related story: TDCI’s Securities Division joins America Saves Week 2021
This year’s campaign includes a theme for each day of the week covering a variety of topics. One of these topics is “Save for the Unexpected,” and what was more unexpected than what our Tennessee communities experienced last year? One lesson each of us can take from all the curveballs 2020 threw our way is that it is never too late to have a plan for you and your family’s finances.
Speaking of plans, use this time to consider what your long-term plans are and how you can “Save to Retire.” This theme can serve as an opportunity to begin a retirement plan or review your existing plan. Set financial goals that encourage healthy spending while minimizing unnecessary expenses. Re-examine your existing savings plans and renew your commitment to making informed financial choices. And, if you choose to invest as part of your retirement strategy, ensure that your broker is properly licensed. Click here to access BrokerCheck, a free online resource that allows consumers to review the credentials of both individuals and firms. It is also important to be aware of the potential risks when it comes to investing. Do not fall victim to high-pressure sales tactics or scams when searching for investments, consistently monitor your savings and investment accounts, request regular written reports detailing your account activity and monitor for any unauthorized use of your accounts.
The final theme for America Saves Week is “Save as a Family.” The first item to consider is what are your family’s immediate and long-term financial goals? Are you planning for vacation, saving for your children’s college fund or are you teaching your children responsible money management at a young age? Data shows that children who are raised with money management skills are often better equipped for future financial success. Make plans for your child’s college education that do not include tapping into your own retirement nest egg. Also, consider the potential financial impact of “boomerang” children – those who may return home as adults after college. Additionally, ensure your overall savings, investments and insurance needs are sufficient for your family. Conduct an annual review to ensure your accounts and policies are keeping up with your lifestyle as well as preparing for potential changes, such as the birth of a new child.
By participating in America Saves Week, you will be encouraged to navigate through different areas of your finances that can better position you for financial success. By the end of the week, you will have addressed short-term and long-term savings goals, the best strategies for saving successfully and how to have healthy conversation and instill positive financial habits within your family.
For more information, to access tool kits for your organization or to take the America Saves Pledge, visit americasavesweek.org.
For more information on investing, BrokerCheck, and the Securities Division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance, visit our website at tn.gov/securities.
Rachel Carden serves as the Director of Investor Education for the Securities Division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.