The national savings rate in the United States is approaching an all-time low, meaning many American families are not in a position to successfully plan for their long-term financial well-being. In fact, according to the New York Federal Reserve, consumer debt in the United States now exceeds $2.6 trillion and the average American household now carries a debt load of $16,700, excluding mortgages. “Research shows that between 1989 and 2006, the nation’s total credit card charges increased from about $69 billion each year to more than $1.8 trillion,” said Michael Joyce, chairman of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Consumer Education Foundation Board, in a statement. “Those numbers are startling considering where overall consumer debt is today. Our hope is that this tour will help people understand the inherent dangers of debt and how they can reverse this trend within their own household.”
In hopes of promoting the need for financial literacy and to help educate people on the need to save, the NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation, with the help of TD Ameritrade Institutional and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, formed a program to reach out to consumers. The organizations have taken this important message to the road on a tour across the country.
For the next year, the first ever “Your Money Bus Tour” will be going from border-to-border and coast-to-coast to deliver financial advice and education. The tour was officially kicked off on September 29 at the TD Ameritrade Institutional’s headquarters in Jersey City, New Jersey, and will continue, making more than 60 stops across the country. On its way to the west coast, the bus will stop at places such as Richmond, Virginia; Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Sacramento, California, only to turn back around and return to the east coast via Denver, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and ending up back in Washington, D.C. on May 30, 2009.