The Obama administration's Department of Labor is encouraging people to save money for retirement and make plans to pay down debt, advice the federal government itself hasn't taken in more than a decade.
Labor posted an article on its website called "Do the Math — and Save" that directs people to several online tools they can use to estimate how much they need to save for retirement, develop a cash-flow plan, and "make a plan to reduce debt."
But Labor's "Savings Fitness" pages aren't set up to handle the huge national debt. The debt reduction worksheets provided only allow people to enter 10 digits when entering the balance of debt they still need to pay off.
That's one digit shy of the 11 needed to enter the government's $12,700,000,000 publicly owned debt, or the $17.7 trillion total debt when intra-government debt is included.
Labor noted that in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, it has also set up a Spanish-langauge website called Su Dinero y Futuro Economico. On September 18, Labor will hold a Spanish-language web case to let people ask questions about the worksheets.
"Retirement may seem like it's a long way off," Labor said. "But the best time to save, regardless of your age, is now. The earlier you start, the more prepared you'll be when you are ready to retire."