Most financial literacy programs target teens and young adults, but a new series of workshops offered by the AARP and Charles Schwab foundations aim to help baby boomer investors hard hit by the recession.
The new program, called AARP Foundation 50+, is designed to help older investors, struggling through the economic downturn, acquire basic financial tools. Topics include assessing a household’s financial standing, budgeting, financial goal setting, managing credit and debt, and building and protecting assets.
More than 20 million Americans over the age of 50 are having difficulty making ends meet in the current economic environment, according to a statement released by the AARP Foundation yesterday. “Many face overwhelming stresses from mounting debt, poor credit, insufficient savings and even loss of their family homes, while others face the added pressures of caring for adult children and aging parents,” said the foundation. “Despite the number of financial education programs in the marketplace, few speak to the unique needs of older low-income workers and their families.”
Even solidly middle class baby boomer investors are worried about maintaining their current financial situation and saving for retirement, according to a Millionaire Corner study of households with a net worth of $100,000 up to $1 million, not including primary residence. Three-fourths of these Main Street boomers ages 45 to 55 say they are worried about having enough money set aside for retirement and 69 percent say they are concerned about being able to retire when they want to.
More than 40 percent says they expect to delay retirement due to the current economic environment and less than half expects to live comfortably in retirement. At the same time, three-fourths of the investors indicate they are worried about “maintaining my current financial position” and 39 percent say they are not saving enough to meet financial goals.
AARP Foundation Finances 50+, designed to address these and other concerns of older investors, will be piloted in Austin, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, DC, and aims to reach 6,000 people in the first year.