Savings plans seeing record numbers

Posted at 5:31 AM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 06:46:54-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The pandemic has shifted priorities for a lot of people. For many, that means saving more money.

In a Bankrate survey released in May, 26 percent of people said they plan to start saving more for emergencies because of COVID-19.

Some savings programs are already seeing boosts as well. Virginia529, a college savings plan, says they're seeing record numbers.

According to the College Savings Plan Network, savings in 529 accounts nationwide went up 14 percent in 2020. Virginia529 says they're seeing that trend continue into 2021 for both the college savings plan and ABLEnow, a disability savings program they also run.

CEO Mary Morris says there are likely a number of factors, including stimulus checks for people who don't need the money right now.

"We saw that in particular with ABLE accounts where it was unexpected resources, perhaps," Morris said.

ABLEnow gives people with disabilities a place to save money without losing eligibility for certain benefit programs.

It was started about five years ago.

For people who are struggling to get started with a savings account, Morris says start small.

"If you can find $10, $25, we have very low opening balance requirements for our accounts," Morris said. "Small amounts over a long period of time really make a difference."