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ICBA: Community Banks Offer Retirement Planning Resources

ICBA Community Banking Month Recognized in April

Washington, D.C. (April 11, 2011)-As the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) recognizes April as ICBA Community Banking Month, our nation's nearly 7,000 community banks continue to offer savings strategies and retirement planning resources to help their customers prepare for a stable financial future.

"Tax time is a great time to start planning for retirement, and your local community bank is here to help," said Sal Marranca, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Cattaraugus County Bank, Little Valley, N.Y. "Even more than New Year's, tax time is a great time for consumers to make resolutions to be smarter about their finances-especially when it comes to saving and planning for something as important as retirement. Community banks can help their customers understand how to make the most of their retirement plans, including employer retirement plans and individual retirement accounts, which often have definite tax advantages."

With more individuals shouldering responsibility for setting up their own retirement accounts, careful planning is the key to financial freedom. ICBA offers these tips to help you get started.

  • Once you have set a target date for when you hope to retire, create a budget that reflects a realistic estimate of how much money you'll need and how you'll be spending it.
  • Next, visit the Social Security Administration online to estimate what your Social Security benefits will be.
  • Take advantage of employer retirement plans, individual retirement accounts and annuities. And if your employer does not offer a pension or retirement plan, ask if one can be started.
  • Either way, you may want to create a retirement account of your own. When you do, make sure you set those savings aside to be used only when you retire.
  • Talk to community bank professionals who can help you determine which savings vehicles are best for your individual needs.

"Americans have a tendency to put off planning for retirement," Marranca said. "But it's never too early or too late to start. I've seen what a difference it makes when people are prepared. Community Banking Month is a great time to stop by your local community bank to learn how we can help with those preparations."

Each year, thousands of community banks recognize ICBA Community Banking Month in a variety of ways. Whether they host special events with local charities, promote economic development initiatives or offer programs to boost financial literacy, community banks continue to enrich their communities and lives of the customers they serve.

Visit your local community bank for your professional retirement and savings needs. To find a community bank, visit ICBA's community bank locator by clicking here.For more information about ICBA and ICBA Community Banking Month, visit www.icba.org.