Illinois serves as first League to host REAL Solutions Retirement Fair for staff

From an Illinois Credit Union League Press Release - Last Thursday, the Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) was the first League in the nation to host for its staff a dynamic, new Retirement Fair created by the National Credit Union Foundation’s (NCUF) REAL Solutions Program in cooperation with CUNA Mutual Group.

The fair, called “Route Your Retirement”, is designed to assist credit unions help their members and staff better prepare for retirement. It is suitable for people of all ages, not just those nearing retirement. More than 30 ICUL staff participated during one of three one-hour sessions held.

Just as credit unions have pioneered a new way to teach budgeting skills to high school and middle school students through Financial Reality Fairs for Teens, this new type of fair designed for adults is poised to revolutionize the way adults approach planning and preparing for retirement.The fair uses experiential learning techniques to help participants:

  • Assess their desired retirement lifestyle;
  • Estimate the likely cost of their chosen lifestyle; and
  • Take steps to assess whether their current savings plan is sufficient to fund their retirement lifestyle choices.

After listening to a short presentation about the intention of the fair, led by Illinois REAL Solutions coach Mark Lynch, participants then visited different stations to help determine what their financial needs may be within certain categories. These included transportation; health and fitness; gifts and donations; housing; food and clothing; communication; and leisure, travel and entertainment.

This program has been tested with CUNA and CUNA Mutual staff members in Madison, Wisconsin. As part of the pilot fair, participants were asked to provide feedback to help refine the event.

According to the latest research of investors between 21 and 50 years of age, only 39 percent are confident they will have enough money for retirement. And of those that are confident, two thirds have yet to develop an actual retirement plan. To further compound the problem most are underestimating how long they will live in retirement.

For more information on "Route Your Retirement," contact NCUF REAL Solutions Field Coach Mark Lynch at or 906-440-3804.

NCUF's "Route Your Retirement" promotional video: