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Poor People Can Save For Retirement

10.20.2008


If you're part of the working poor, you're really not interested in hearing people tell you about saving for retirement or even just saving for emergencies, but you need to do it. Between you and me and the other 300 million Americans, we know social security isn't going to be around in 2050 when we get to retirement age (67). Do you know about IDA's? They are Individual Development Accounts and a good way to plan for retirement if you're on the lower end of the working class or don't have access to a 401K or its equivalent through your job. CFED Focus Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are matched savings accounts that enable low-income American families to save, build assets, and enter the financial mainstream. IDAs reward the monthly savings of working-poor families who are trying to buy their first home, pay for post-secondary education, or start a small business. This reward or incentive is provided through the use of matching funds that typically come from a variety of private and public sources. Similar to 401(k)s, IDAs make it easier for low-income families to build the financial assets they need to achieve the American Dream.

There is evidence from IDA initiatives that poor people, with proper incentives and supports, will save regularly and acquire productive assets. For example, 2,128 low-income families participating in ADD saved $602,181 as of June 2000, and these savings leveraged another $1,146,919 in matching funds. Monthly deposits typically ranged from $30-$75 per month.
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