Associate State Director for Communications Scott Wegenast, with AARP Kentucky, provides the following checklist and resources so you can plan your financial security:
The Great Recession and sluggish recovery of the last few years have hit midlife and older workers particularly hard. The last decade spelled disaster for millions of older workers who lost their jobs, saw their retirement savings diminish, and had their healthcare costs continue to skyrocket.
So how ready are you for “what’s next?” AARP encourages you to take the next steps now toward planning your financial security. Below are some things you can do now—no matter what your “what’s next” looks like.
Find New Ways to Cut Your Expenses (and Start Saving More). Start by listing your bills and then figure out ways to trim them.
Network for that Next Job through social media and other means. It can benefit you to get on Facebook and LinkedIn. Work Reimagined is AARP’s new social network-based resource jobs program that connects employers seeking experienced workers with qualified professionals searching for new or more satisfying careers.
Evaluate Your Health—now. Commit to getting into shape if necessary and living a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps you can use your newly found time to begin a new fitness program or learn how to prepare healthy meals.
Create a Budget. Know how much money is coming in and from where, how much it will cost to reach your retirement goals, and how much debt you have.
Prepare for the Unexpected. Consider how you would deal with major events now so you won’t get caught off-guard later. As difficult as it is to imagine catastrophe, take the time to consider widowhood, a significant illness, the need for long-term care, etc.
Determine When to Collect Social Security. If you can afford it, the longer you wait to claim Social Security, the greater your monthly benefit will be.
Stick to Your Plan. Visit AARP.org for more useful information and resources—from calculators helping you determine your financial future to articles and tips from experts.
• Work Resources–www.aarp.org/jobs
• Work Reimagined–www.workreimagined.org
• Ready for Retirement?10 Steps–www.aarp.org/readyforretirement
• Social Security Benefits Calculator–www.aarp.org/socialsecuritybenefits
• AARP Retirement Calculator–www.aarp.org/retirementcalculator
• AARP 401(k) Fee Calculator–blog.aarp.org/tag/401k-fee-calculator/
Read the Kentucky Living January 2014 feature that goes along with this Web Exclusive. Great Recession Lessons.