Results tagged as "asset building"

  • Retirement Planning - Start Early & Save Regularly

    By Rohit Gupta, Director & Country Risk Manager, Consumer Banking, Citibank Turkey February 08, 2013 12:00 PM

    Increased life expectancy and the move away from a traditional company "defined benefits plan" make retirement planning amongst the most important and long lasting decisions for individuals and families.

    As a rule of thumb, financial planners recommend withdrawing no more than 4% - 5% of retirement savings every year. That means a lot of savings for an average family (to get a income of $3,500 in retirement would mean savings of just over 1 million).

    How does one save enough over 30 years of working life for 30 years in retirement? The answer is simple - the magic of Compound Interest. Importantly, savings is different from investing (and speculation from Investing). A few percentage points in interest rates can mean a huge difference in your future wealth. Along with safety, one needs to ensure a good return on investments - even after retirement.

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  • Citi Foundation-supported PBS series continues, focusing on federal tax benefits

    By Daria Sheehan, Senior Program Officer, U.S. Financial Capability & Asset Building, Citi Foundation January 11, 2013 03:00 PM

    The fifth installment of a special financial inclusion series underwritten by the Citi Foundation will debut this evening on the PBS weekly public affairs news program "Need to Know". The five-part series, "Your Money and Your Life," illustrates the Citi Foundation's commitment to educate, empower and transform low-income communities by supporting efforts to build financial capability among consumers.

    Tonight's report profiles four New Jersey residents at different income levels and examines how current tax regulations dramatically benefit some Americans more than others. The program looks at the benefits received by low-income earners who file for the Earned Income Tax Credit, but also explores how many of the $1.1 trillion worth of federal tax expenditures overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest taxpayers.

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  • Empowering low-income individuals to become long-term savers

    By Don Burback, Citi Community Development Officer Southeast and West Texas September 28, 2012 05:30 PM

    Last week I joined several Citi colleagues and many of our nonprofit and policy partners at the CFED Assets Learning Conference in Washington, D.C.There we examined strategies for empowering American families to save and build assets. I was invited to share some of our experiences in Houston, Texas, developing collaborative new approaches to asset building.

    Household savings provides financial security and offers individuals the opportunity to move up the economic ladder; however, we have found that many Texas families -- and many Houstonians, in particular -- have little or no savings.

    According to the recently released FDIC 2011 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, more than a third of households in Houston do not even have a savings account. Nearly 12 percent have no bank account at all. As a state, Texas ranks near the bottom in many overall measures of household financial security on CFED's 2012 Assets & Opportunities Scorecard. In fact, one in two Texans lacks enough "rainy day" savings to weather a temporary loss of income. As a result, Texans are much more at risk of turning to predatory lending to weather a temporary need for cash.

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  • Tax Time Savings Strategies: Exploring the Earned Income Tax Credit and More

    By Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development, and Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference September 19, 2012 10:45 AM

    Since its introduction in 1975, the earned-income tax credit (EITC) has been one of our nation's most effective anti-poverty policies. A new article we co-authored in the Fall 2012 issue of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas entitled "Tax Policy: Spreading the Benefits More Widely," explores how this powerful anti-poverty program can do even more. We argue that linking the Earned Income Tax Credit with long-term savings opportunities can expand financial security among low-income people.

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  • Tax-Deductible vs. Roth IRAs

    By Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education, Citi Personal Wealth Management August 13, 2012 09:00 AM

    Which is better, a traditional tax-deductible Individual Retirement Account or a Roth IRA? The traditional IRA gives you an immediate tax deduction, but all withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income. With a Roth, there's no upfront tax deduction, but all withdrawals in retirement can be tax-free.

    Often, you won't have to pick a favorite because you only qualify for one. If you aren't covered by a retirement plan at work and you have earned income, you're always eligible to fund a tax-deductible IRA, no matter how much you make. But if you have a retirement plan at work, you might not qualify if your income is above the applicable threshold.

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  • Citi Pakistan Awarded for 'Best Practices in Corporate Social Responsibility' by United Nations

    By Haroon Saeed, Assistant Vice President, Citi Pakistan August 07, 2012 12:00 PM

    Citi Pakistan is humbled to be awarded by the United Nations Global Compact Pakistan Network for our 'Best Practices in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).' The United Nations Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. This recognition comes on the heels of three other recent global CSR awards that Citi Pakistan has won during 2011 and 2012 for our pioneering work in the microfinance and education spheres in Pakistan.

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  • Asset Building: What Does the Future Look Like?

    By Natalie Abatemarco, Managing Director, National Initiatives, Citi Community Development August 06, 2012 01:30 PM

    I recently had the privilege of attending the National Urban League's annual conference in New Orleans. The National Urban League and Citi have a long-standing, multi-pronged relationship, and collaborate on numerous community programs through both Citi Community Development and Citi Foundation. This year's conference was particularly special as it opened with a speech from President Obama. In his address to the conference attendees, the President reiterated that "Good jobs, quality schools... affordable housing -- these are all the pillars upon which communities are built." They are also important stepping stones for families to build long-term assets, such as earning college degrees, saving for retirement, or buying a home. However, with the Pew Institute's report revealing the country's record wealth gap in communities of color, the President challenged attendees to be creative and urgent in making these asset building opportunities accessible to everyone. But how?

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  • It is time to Start2Save!

    By Gwendy Donaker Brown, Director of Policy and New Initiatives, Opportunity Fund July 30, 2012 01:00 PM

    Last year, Opportunity Fund launched our newest savings product - Start2Save. These savings accounts are designed to support low-income people in building up emergency savings through a free Citi savings account coupled with financial training and a matching grant of up to $1,000. Once a saver has earned the grant, how they use the money is completely up to them - no strings attached.

    Opportunity Fund is the nation's leading Individual Development Account (IDA) microsavings provider and we've built a long and rich partnership with Citi. We offer an IDA that gives low-income savers complete control of their own savings--a radical departure in the asset-building field. Historically, the microsavings provider (like Opportunity Fund) approved when and where savings were invested. In this case, the asset is simply the dollars saved. The saver maintains full autonomy and control over the money. Empowerment and responsibility are what we teach, after all.

    After the first year rolling out these new Start2Save microsavings accounts, here's a look at what we've seen and learned so far and where we are headed:

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  • The Asset Building Policy Network: How can we support a savings culture?

    By Sandy Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Citi Community Development July 09, 2012 12:30 PM

    A recent Citi survey revealed that just 41 percent of people making less than $50,000 a year are saving on a regular basis. Only a quarter of them say they have savings goals or feel they are saving enough. Also, the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances for 2010 shows that the median net worth of Americans fell 39 percent, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. This represents a whopping loss of wealth and financial security for all Americans, and the data is even more daunting for low-income and minority communities.

    Over the last year, as one part of Citi Community Development's strategy to drive our company's financial inclusion commitment, we have been working with a coalition of the nation's leading civil rights, policy, and community development organizations to address these stark statistics by focusing on long-term savings opportunities.

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  • Know Your Asset Classes

    By Jonathan Clements, Director of Financial Education, Citi Personal Wealth Management June 25, 2012 09:00 AM

    Whether we're pursuing investment performance or seeking safety, we often fail to consider the risks we are taking. Yet every investment, whether it's a highflying stock or a low-yielding certificate of deposit, is risky. The question is, which risks do we want to take?

    In any given year, there will be investment losers--and those losers will be determined by the risks that rear their ugly head, so it's a good idea to understand the perils we may face. To that end, consider the three broad investment categories.

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