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Illinois first league to host new Retirement Fair
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (9/25/12)--The Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) Thursday was the first U.S. league to host for its staff a new retirement fair created by the National Credit Union Foundation's (NCUF) REAL Solutions Program in concert with CUNA Mutual Group.

The fair, called "Route Your Retirement," assists credit unions in helping their members and staff better prepare for retirement.  It is suitable for people of all ages, not just those nearing retirement. More than 30 ICUL staff participated during one of three one-hour sessions.

Just as credit unions have pioneered a new way to teach budgeting skills to high school and middle school students through Financial Reality Fairs for Teens, this new type of fair for adults is poised to revolutionize the way adults approach planning and preparing for retirement, the league said.

The fair uses experiential learning techniques to help participants:

  • Assess their desired retirement lifestyle;
  • Estimate the likely cost of their chosen lifestyle; and
  • Take steps to assess whether their current savings plan is sufficient to fund their retirement lifestyle choices.
After listening to a short presentation about the intention of the fair, led by Illinois REAL Solutions coach Mark Lynch, participants visited different stations to help determine what their financial needs may be within certain categories. They included: transportation; health and fitness; gifts and donations; housing; food and clothing; communication; and leisure, travel and entertainment.

The program has been tested with Credit Union National Association and CUNA Mutual staff members in Madison, Wis. As part of the pilot fair, participants were asked to provide feedback to help refine the event.

Only 39% of investors between 21 and 50 years of age are confident they will have enough money for retirement, according to the latest research. Of those who are confident, two-thirds have yet to develop an actual retirement plan. To further compound the problem, most are underestimating how long they will live in retirement, the league said.


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