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Real Stories - Chapter 4

Ways to Save
D. Woods has always been good at singing, dancing, and saving money. Listening to experts, she has an emergency fund with three months of living expenses. Woods also has separate bank and credit union accounts for saving, checking, and investing.

Saving for Retirement
Maria Cortez helps run her family’s Mexican restaurant in New York. Hoping to retire - and help her parents retire - when she turns 55, Maria discusses her future with a financial advisor. He suggests starting an IRA, a tax-free investment account.

D. Woods & Maria Cortez

D. Woods - a lifelong entertainer - was an original member of Danity Kane, a popular music group that started on MTV. D. has learned to diversify her talents and her savings to prepare herself for lean times.

Maria Cortez brought her business experience and her education to her family’s traditional Mexican restaurant. Long-term, Maria would like to retire at 55 and travel between homes in New York and Mexico.

What the Experts Say

"In tough economic times, people really need to have a set savings cushion of money. The key is to save three months' worth of living expenses in that fund."

"When you start in your 20s and start to save long term, you can end up with tens of thousands of dollars more just by starting early."

Beth Kobliner, Financial Author

"You should start saving for retirement the day you get your first job."

Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post

Did you know?

IRA (Individual Retirement Account):

  • Open an account with as little as $100
  • Choose the type that's best for you
  • Interest accumulates tax-free or tax-deferred


  • Employer-sponsored retirement plan

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Tools & Resources

Expert Advice: Getting in the Habit of Saving

Facts about the powerful benefits of saving.

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Expert Advice: Types of Retirement Funds

Learn about different retirement plans and their benefits.

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Retirement Shortfall

Use the Retirement Shortfall Calculator to find out how long your current savings will last.

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The Importance of Saving

Use this tool to see why saving and investing now will help build you a more secure future.

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Savings Calculator

Use the Savings Calculator to find out how the right savings strategy can work for you.

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Countdown to Retirement

Play a fun game to see if you'll retire in the lap of luxury or work until your dying day.

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Classroom Ideas: Chapter 4

Find fun activities to help your students learn about short and long term savings, choosing the right career, and planning for retirement.

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Words to Know: Chapter 4

Learn how to talk dollars and cents with this list of financial terms.

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Young Money Magazine: Special Edition Guide from Your Life, Your Money

Learn more about financial planning and see how the people who start saving.

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Take Action

Now is the time to take charge of your personal finances. Here are three easy ways to save more now - so you have more later:

  1. Start saving early.
  2. Create an emergency fund.
  3. Invest in a retirement savings account.