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Americans Continue to Ignore IRAs; TCUL’s Upcoming Seminar Helps CU Staff Educate Members on Powerful Retirement Savings Tool
Friday, March 29, 2013 5:15 AM

By and large, Americans aren't too confident about their chances at a comfortable retirement. According to the Employment Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), 49 percent of U.S. adults say they either are "not too confident" or "not at all confident" of affording a decent lifestyle in retirement.

A big part of the problem is that Americans don't have a firm grip on how much to save for retirement, and aren't sure of the tools they need to reach financial security after their working years.

In the EBRI study, respondents were all over the map in estimating how much to save, with some workers aiming at 30 percent or more (23 percent of respondents) and 20 percent saying they were aiming to save 20-29 percent of their income for retirement.

Another survey from TIAA-CREF shows that many of the 1,000-plus adults surveyed "continue to overlook IRAs as part of their retirement savings plan."

The firm says that 80 percent of U.S. workers aren't contributing to an IRA, up from 76 percent in 2012. Perhaps more disturbing, at least to financial advisers and economists, is that 43 percent of Americans lack a basic understanding about IRAs and how they are used.

IRAs are one of the best tools in a retirement saver's toolbox. In 2013, Americans can save up to $5,500 (or $6,500 for U.S. adults over age 50) in an IRA on a tax-advantaged basis. Yet only 33 percent of Americans are aware of the maximum contribution levels are on IRAs, the survey says.

TCUL’s upcoming IRA Basics and IRA Advanced seminars will provide credit union staff with the information they need to become more knowledgeable on IRAs, so that they can in turn better educate members on the benefits of IRAs.

The IRA Basics and IRA Advanced seminars are being held May 9-10 in Houston.  Respected trainer Deborah Crawford will present both seminars.  The IRA Basics seminar covers the basic elements of IRAs, while the IRA Advanced seminar explores everything you need to know about IRAs, including compliance, auditing and reporting.

The educational investment is $349 per attendee, per day and online registration is available online.  Please note that Certified Public Accounts (CPAs) may earn up to 6.5 continuing professional educational credits (CPE) for each seminar.

For more information, please visit the Training & Events section of TCUL’s web site, at  If you have any questions, please contact TCUL Training & Events, at (469) 385-6630 or (800) 442-5762, ext. 6630.

Educational grants are available through the Texas Credit Union Foundation.  To learn more, please visit