It’s National Retirement Planning Week: Let’s Celebrate

It’s National Retirement Planning Week. Yes, Monday, April 12, is the first day of a week of activities designed to educate and motivate us to plan for what we all dread — getting old. And while there are no days off or special cards to mark the week, there are plenty of events planned.

National Retirement Planning Week is the brainchild of the National Retirement Planning Coalition, a group made up of consumer and financial services organizations led by the Insured Retirement Institute. Recognizing that most of us do not prepare adequately for financial security during our golden years, the NRPC has created this marketing campaign to shine a spotlight on the importance of planning ahead.

The week’s activities begin with a conference call by IRI during which it will discuss its research on the retirement expectations of the baby boomer generation. The conference call will include a panel discussion among retirement industry and financial literacy experts. The highlight of day two of National Retirement Planning Week will be a webinar for financial professionals to discuss Social Security as part of the retirement strategy. The webinar will feature Gail Buckner, correspondent with Fox Business.

While most of us are aware of retirement options such as Roth IRAs, most of us do not take advantage of early retirement planning. A 2014 survey conducted by Bankrate showed that 36 percent of Americans have not started saving for retirement. Of survey participants aged 50 to 64, 25 percent have not yet started saving for their golden years.

The primary reason why we don’t save for retirement? Most of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck. According to most experts, simply making small lifestyle changes can free up small amounts of money that can then be used to begin saving for retirement. Procrastination is another major reason why people do not save for retirement. And, finally, some people don’t save for retirement because they don’t plan on retiring — ever. However, unexpected health problems or changes to the economy can interfere with a plan to work well beyond normal retirement age.

Thus, the need for National Retirement Planning Week. So, take some time to enjoy the activities, and learn about what you can do to make your retirement years the best they can be.

[Image Courtesy of David Paul Morris/Getty Images]