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NCUA: CUs Can Educate During America Saves, Military Saves Week
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (2/15/13)--Credit unions can educate members and their families about the importance of saving during this year's annual America Saves and Military Saves Week, Feb. 25-March 2, said National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz Thursday.

"Having a savings account is the first step towards financial stability, but a recent study indicated a little more than 29% of America's households do not have a savings account," Matz said.

"People need to learn more about how to save and have a place to save," she said. "This year's campaign is a perfect opportunity for credit unions to educate and empower their members and their families so they can balance their budgets, buy a home, or put money aside for their children's educations."

America Saves Week and Military Saves Week are national campaigns that unite government, nonprofit and corporate groups to encourage individuals and families to save and build personal wealth. American Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council. Military Saves is part of the Defense Department's Financial Readiness Campaign and has been a partner with the department since 2003.

Both programs, which encourage saving, debt reduction and wealth building, are managed by the Consumer Federation of America. Credit unions can partner with local campaigns to offer motivational workshops and obtain posters, brochures and other resources, said NCUA.

During last year's America Saves Week, the 2012 Annual National Survey Assessing Household Savings revealed that a savings plan with specific goals can have beneficial financial effects, even for lower-income families, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway Feb. 5).

That survey found:

  • 66% of Americans spend less than their income and save the difference;
  • 66% have enough emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses such as car repairs or a doctor's visit;
  • 42% have a savings plan with specific goals; and
  • 52% of non-retired Americans think they are saving enough for a retirement with a desirable standard of living.
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