Saving and Asset Building
Saving and asset building are the cornerstones of sound financial planning. Learning the basics of saving and asset building can provide benefits over a lifetime. Below is information that can help you save and plan.
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)
IDAs are matched savings accounts for low and moderate-income individuals to save for first-time home purchases, job training and education, business start-ups, automobiles to secure employment, lease deposits and education for a dependent child. The program was created in 2000 with a statewide task force that included financial institutions, community organizers, and representatives from state and local government. The task force produced an in-depth report on how to help low-income families become economically self-sufficient. The report led to the 2000 law, a summary of which can be viewed here: Connecticut IDA Act. The Connecticut Department of Labor operates the IDA program. It has a website with useful information for program operators, financial institutions, funders, policymakers, community agencies and everyone interested in Individual Development Accounts. It can be accessed here: http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/ida/idahome.htm
IDAs have a financial education component and require account holders to maintain regular bank account deposits over the program savings period. For information or materials, contact Lisa Arends at (860) 263-6794.
The Connecticut Asset Building Collaborative
This organization is a network of public, private and non-profit organizations and partners that provides and advocates for programs, services and policies that help low- and moderate-income individuals and families achieve financial security. The collaboraive holds peer learning sessions around the state throughout the year. www.ctassetbuilding.org.
Earned Income Tax Credit Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Initiative
This initiative offers free income tax assistance (VITA) services by trained volunteers to help low and moderate-income working families apply for the Federal and State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and coordinated through regional nonprofit organizations, EITC tax preparation sites are located at approximately seventy locations across the state. At some EITC sites assistance in completing the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is also available. For information or materials, visit: www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers.
The Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (Wiser)
This organization works to provide all women with information on how to improve their long-term financial security and increase opportunities to secure retirement income. Visit www.wiserwomen.org for publications and fact sheets on social security, savings, and investing.
Additional ResourcesFederal Reserve
Visit the Federal Reserve Education System website at www.federalreserveeducation.org for materials and tools for consumer credit cards, mortgages, and economic education from twelve Federal Reserve Banks. The site also contains consumer credit protection information.
American Savings Education Council: Choose to Save
The American Savings Education Council's website (www.choosetosave.org) provides information on retirement and other financial topics. The Council sponsors America Saves Week (www.americasavesweek.org), which is a national saving campaign that can be sponsored in your community.
Connecticut Saves, which is affiliated with America Saves, is a campaign coordinated by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America and is dedicated to helping individuals save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Log on and take the "Connecticut Saves Pledge" today.