Americans must accept personal responsibility for achieving the goal of financial security in retirement, according to expert panelists who participated in a recent video teleconference titled "SaveYour Future Depends on You." Unfortunately, many employees have not begun planning for retirement by following basic saving principles, the experts assert.
"People don't realize how little needs to be put aside if it's done early enough. A pizza and a movie twice a month rather than four times a month could build a part of the retirement," said Thomas W. Jones, vice chairman, president, and chief operating officer of TIAA-CREF. "Save with discipline and start early."
"Waiting until you have enough money to save won't work," said Martha Priddy Patterson, director at KPMG Peat Marwick. "Put your savings to work for you. Don't get investment paralysis." Patterson is author of "The Working Woman's Guide to Retirement Planning."
Jones and Patterson were joined by other panelistsin a discussion viewed at various sites across the country on April 20 via the Community College Satellite Network. The teleconference was sponsored by TIAA+CREF in conjunction with the American Savings Education Council, NACUBO, the Association of Community Colleges , the College and University Personnel Association , the Employee Benefits Research Institute, the Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America, and Economics America.
According to Dallas L. Salisbury, president and chief executive officer of EBRI and chair of ASEC, a major reason Americans need to take more control of their retirement planning is the expected decrease in Social Security benefits. "The Social Security payroll taxes will generate a lot of dollars to provide benefits, but not enough to sustain the existing level of benefits," he said.
To help spur retirement planning, the American Savings Education Council was created in July 1995 to raise public awareness about what is needed to ensure long-term personal financial independence. The not-for-profit educational organization is made up of more than 150 public- and private-sector institutional partners, including TIAA-CREF. Two ASEC's publications, "Top Ten Ways to Beat the Clock and Prepare for Retirement," and "The Power to Choose" are available by calling ASEC at 202-775-6364.
Watch for posters with additional information about upcoming receptions.