NM proclaims – 2013, The Year of Children Savings Accounts

NM proclaims – 2013, The Year of Children Savings Accounts

America Saves Week, February 25 – March 2, 2013

As part of America Saves Week, House Joint Memorial 42 introduced by Representative Gail Chasey and Senator Linda Lopez proclaims “2013 as the year of CHILDREN SAVINGS ACCOUNTS.  The Proclamation recognizes the House and the Senate should work together to design and implement policies and resources that support families’ interest and ability to save and manage their own money, and seed a future for their children, starting as early as possible.

Nonprofit helps children save for future.

Today, 27 percent of New Mexico’s families are living in “asset poverty,” which means they don’t have the savings necessary to live at the poverty level for three months if they lost their income. A family of three would need about $4,500. Living paycheck to paycheck, these families are on the brink of disaster if faced with a layoff or other expensive emergency. It’s not just emergency savings that Americans lack:  One-third of households never save for retirement, and only about 55 percent of the workforce is covered by their employer’s retirement plan.  Designing a system that provides avenues for savings over the life span is essential to the economic security of New Mexico’s households.

Ona Porter, President and CEO of Prosperity Works commented, “There has been extensive research demonstrating the vital role that children’s savings plays in college enrollment.  We believe that savings accounts play a critical role in children’s social and psychological development, as well as their sense of community.”   Prosperity Works, is taking its leading edge position in asset development to bring Children’s Savings Accounts to New Mexico. A year-long planning process funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will culminate with the launch of pilot program later this year with 1500 of New Mexico’s low income kindergartners getting savings accounts.  “Seeding a future for all of New Mexico’s children is our goal”, said Porter.

When given an opportunity, New Mexicans have always chosen to strengthen their future.  Prosperity Works has seen over 1200 families throughout the state save hard-earned funds to open or expand a business, purchase a first home, or continue in higher education.  Over $3 million has gone back into the New Mexican economy as families have realized their dreams and strengthen their futures.

America Saves is a national social marketing campaign to persuade, encourage, and motivate Americans to take financial action in building wealth through saving money and reducing debt.

America Saves Week is a great opportunity to help start the discussion of Children Savings Accounts in New Mexico.  It is also an excellent time to encourage people in our community to Set a Goal, Make a Plan, and Save,” said Ona Porter.