Obama Has Plans to Help You Save Money

Three ways to increase personal savings

Saving money is not as easy as it looks. Image from flikr.com

Saving money is not as easy as it looks. Image from flikr.com

The government has always pushed for people to put money into personal savings. Now President Barack Obama has created ways that will actually make saving easier for workers.

Just like Personal Money store makes online payday loans easier, Obama has come up with these three ways for individuals to save money: auto-enrollment in retirement plans, issuing tax returns as savings bonds and putting unused sick or vacation days into 401k plans.

1. Auto-enrollment in retirement plans

This will not make retirement plans mandatory for employees, it will simply make it easier for employers to enroll their employees in the retirement plans. CNN Money explains:

To make it easier for smaller and medium-sized employers to automatically enroll workers into retirement plans, the administration will clear up some bureaucratic paper-work hurdles for employers to offer that option.

2. Tax returns as savings bonds

This one is pretty simple. Recently the government made it possible for tax payers to get their refunds deposited directly into their bank accounts rather than sending a paper check. Similarly, now tax payers will have the option of having their tax return issued in the form of government savings bonds.

Automatically converting your tax returns into government savings bonds means that your money will be automatically saved and it will earn a higher interest rate than it would at a normal bank. The longer you leave your money alone, the more you will make off of it.

3. Saving sick and vacation days

Many people do not use up their sick days or vacation days at work. For the vast majority, that means that they are wasted. The government now will make it easier for employers to convert their employees’ unused sick or vacation days into dollars invested in their 401k plans. Again, this isn’t a mandatory thing at all. Employers and employees have the option of whether they want to do it or not, it simply will be easier.

Why the extreme measures?

Before you start spouting off about big government and personal freedom, remember that all of these things are completely optional. No one — not employers or employees — is require to participate. However, the benefits of personal savings in relation to the economy are obvious to everyone, so as part of the effort to turn the recession around, the White House has come up with these ways to encourage and facilitate personal savings. Just in case you’re in doubt about whether this help is necessary, here are some statistics from CNN Money:

Even among those with savings in the bank, the nest egg is relatively lean. Of workers 55 years or older, about half have less than $50,000 in savings, excluding their homes and pensions, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Some of these measures will be very lucrative for people. Unfortunately, these only help people who have jobs and qualify for tax returns. Saving money and investing wisely is very important, and I for one am glad to see that the government isn’t just talking about the fact that people should save money, but is actually taking steps to make it easier. I hope we will see more measures like this in the future, and that we can find a way to help people who don’t have 401ks and tax returns.