While the President signs into law a $152 billion stimulus package to jumpstart the economy, millions of Americans continue to rack up consumer debt, watch their home values slide, and worry about their futures with little to no savings. In fact, even with stimulus checks on the way to promote consumption, Americans are focusing on the need to rein in their debt and save more. A recent Harris Interactive poll found that when it comes to using the tax rebate, 47 percent say they intend to pay down debt, while another 32 percent report they will save it. Although very few doubt the need for an economic kick start, more attention is needed to address the lack of savings and debt crisis of today, facilitate savings for the future, and promote economic health and financial stability over the course of a lifetime. New research, policies, and business strategies are emerging that enable Americans to meet a range of savings needs, from short-term, precautionary savings as an alternative to consumer debt; to adequate savings for mid-life asset purchases; to longer-term default strategies to enable Americans to reach their retirement goals.
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