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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

Money Smart Week 2010 Kicks Off This Week

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Annual Money Smart Week kicked off this weekend. For those who don't know, Money Smart Week is a big event in Illinois. Every year, financial professionals from across the state offer over 400 free financial management workshops and activities at libraries, schools, churches, and community organizations to youth, adults, and seniors.

Today, I attended the opening celebration for Money Smart Week at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke gave opening remarks via a pre-recorded video. Charles Evans, Chicago Fed President expressed concerns about the findings of the 2009 National Financial Capacity Study conducted by FINRA, a governmental regulatory body for the investment industry. The study revealed that almost 50% of respondents reported having difficulty making ends meet, only 31% of respondents age 18-29 had an emergency fund, and that most Americans are not planning for retirement. The study showed that retirement planning increased with age. However, even among respondents between the ages of 45-59, only 51% had even bothered to calculate how much they needed to save for retirement. Nearly half (41%) of respondents felt more of a sense of urgency to plan for their children's college education than to plan for retirement.

These findings let us know that there is more work to be done in the area of financial literacy. So, take out time this week to visit one or more of the over 450 free money management workshops being offered across the state. To find a workshop near you, visit

To further explore financial topics, check out these websites:


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