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Financial
Oct 12, 2021

AARP Marks National Savings Day By Calling on Lawmakers to Make Saving Easier

Sponsored Content provided by Michael Olender - State Director, AARP North Carolina

We’ve talked a lot in this column about ways to prevent scammers from stealing your hard earned income and savings. But as we look at savings, it is important to note that savings rates, especially for retirement, are way too low.

Today is National Savings Day – the one day a year set aside to remind us of the importance of saving and reflect on our own savings habits. At AARP, we don’t need a national holiday to remind us just how vital saving for the future is. We know that saving for retirement is one of the most important things you can do for your future, and we work 365 days a year to provide resources to help you plan and grow your savings. But, we can’t do it alone.

That’s why this National Savings Day, we are calling on North Carolina lawmakers to create a Work and Save program to make saving for the future easier for everyone.
 
Nearly 2 million private-sector workers in North Carolina can’t save for retirement out of their regular paycheck, even though having access to payroll deduction makes people 15 times more likely to save. The Work and Save programs passed by 14 states – and proposed by dozens more – can fix that. 
 
North Carolina Work and Save, House Bill 899, provides an easy way for workers to save out of their regular paycheck and helps them grow the savings they need to take control of their future. The programs are available to workers who don’t currently have a plan through their job – and generally run like a 529 college savings plan. 
 
While Social Security is a critical piece of the puzzle, it is not enough to depend on. The average Social Security benefit for a 65+ North Carolina family is only about $21,000 per year, even though these families spend over $22,000 a year on food, utilities, and health care alone.
 
At this rate, one out of every two households won’t be able to afford their basic needs in their later years. 
 
We need to help North Carolina workers grow their retirement savings so they can live independently as they age. It’s time for our state lawmakers to fund the small startup costs the Work and Save program approved by the General Assembly to give employees of all ages the opportunity to grow their savings and take control of their future.
 
To learn more about Work & Save programs, please visit: aarp.org/myfuture.


 
Michael Olender is the state director of AARP North Carolina. He was appointed this position after serving as Associate State Director for AARP in the Charlotte region and managing the work of AARP in communities across the state. Prior to North Carolina, Olender was the Associate State Director for AARP New York leading AARP’s work in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Prior to joining AARP in 2007 Mike worked as a community organizer in New Jersey on a variety of consumer issues including health care reform, affordable prescription drugs, utilities and other issues affecting New Jersey residents. A graduate from Rutgers University, Michael resides in Apex, North Carolina.

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