Innovative state solutions to America’s savings crisis are in danger. Federal overreach threatens an important Department of Labor rule that gives states flexibility to help workers save for retirement.
I want to take a minute to recognize the 40 million Americans who perform a great labor of love every day: family caregivers. Thanks to their tireless efforts, parents, spouses, and other loved ones are able to remain at home — where they want to be. Day after day, these unsung heroes take on huge responsibilities that can be overwhelming, stressful and exhausting.
Crisp autumn air reminds me of my elementary school days in Upstate NY – and of my Mom's hard work and dedication. My Mom worked the "vampire shift" at Tommy Tucker bakery – injecting doughnuts with jelly from 9 at night to 5 in the morning. She'd arrive back at home in time to wake my brother, sister and me, cook a hot breakfast and send us off to school. And, every Friday on her pay day, she'd take us to the bank to cash her check and set aside a small portion of pay in a Christmas club savings account. No matter how small the check, she always saved something for the St. Patrick's Church collection basket and something for the future.
How much have you saved for retirement? Five hundred dollars? Five thousand? Fifty thousand? If you have even $5 saved, you’re one step ahead of nearly half of working-age households — who have ZERO saved for retirement.
Forty million Americans care for their older parents, spouses and other loved ones to help them live independently, at home, each and every day — I am one of them. We family caregivers help with bathing and dressing, transportation, providing meals, and much more. We even handle complex medical tasks like wound care or giving injections. Today, we are an essential part of the U.S. health care system.
As National Nurses Week concludes, I want to take a moment and thank all nurses — past, present, and future — for all that you do. I know firsthand the importance of nurses not only to patients, but to their families. During the 15 years I cared for my parents, nurses made a huge difference in our lives. There’s no doubt, caregiving takes a team, and so often nurses were a part of my family’s team.
Growing up, I could tell when my Pop was coming home from work by hearing the jingling of change in his pockets. And, every night before he sat down for family dinner, Pop would go to the basement and empty the contents of his pockets into a Zorro lunch box for safekeeping. Mom and Pop were devoted savers — Pop in his lunch box and Mom in her Christmas Club account at the bank.
”Great news from Illinois: A new law will help 2.5 million workers retire with confidence. Signed by former Gov. Quinn this year, the Illinois Secure Choice Program gives millions of state residents a way to save for their future at work — a tool that increases savings rates by 15 times. Upon signing the bill, Gov. Quinn shared, “This is a special ... opportunity, for all of us to go forward at helping people save for retirement.
Illinois will become the first state with a broad-based effort to automatically enroll private-sector employees without retirement plans into a new savings program.
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