Funding your future


MASON CITY, Iowa – Saving for retirement is a priority for many, but with increasing life expenses, it’s getting to be more difficult.

That’s why those at AARP are trying to make it a little easier.

“It’s really vital that people begin as soon as possible to understand the tools that are available to them to plan their retirement, to determine the real possibilities for them,” says AARP Iowa State Director Kent Sovern.

A “Financing your Future” seminar was held earlier this week.

Larry Olk is one retiree who feels like he has a thing or two to learn and attended the seminar.

“You’re kind of coasting along and all of a sudden you realize you have to get things in order,” says Olk.

Now he’s putting on the brakes and wants to know his options.

“In our particular case we have pretty much all of our retirement income and a 401(k) that we have accumulated over the years, so now we need to decide just what we are going to do with it, and you have to do something with it because if not, the tax implications are going to be dreadful,” says Olk.

While he is more concerned about tax implications, after the economic downturn, others are worried if they retire they just won’t have enough in the bank.

“With the economic downturn, the most recent one really hit people at the worst possible time, and for those folks who were separated from traditional employment in their 50s should have been really stocking a lot of money away for their retirement, and instead they were using their retirement savings to keep afloat during that time,” says Sovern.

His advice is to find a financial advisor who has your best interest in mind.

“Go to trusted advisors. Go to people that are trained and understand how the money can grow, how different types of savings tools can benefit you best,” says Sovern.

And the earlier you do this, the better.

“It’s an age-old story, by the time you figure it out that you need to do something you’re probably already 5 to 10 years behind,” says Olk.

So if you’re just beginning your career or 10-15 years in, the time is now.

“You know when you feel comfortable you better start doing it because you’re going to need it down the road,” says Olk.

If you want to better determine your financial future AARP has some tools on their website:

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