This May marked the 50th anniversary of Older Americans month. This year’s theme – Unleash the Power of Age – has been an inspirational reminder of the achievements, expertise, and wisdom that age brings. Beyond this month – use the months ahead, to celebrate your – or your older family members’, friends’, and colleagues’ – talents and gifts.
We’re working every day to “unleash the power of age” – by working to empower older consumers to take control of their financial lives and achieve their goals. Admittedly, as many Americans grow older, power may be the last thing they feel with regard to their financial preparedness for retirement, ability to protect themselves from fraud or scams, and general financial security. We’re committed to providing older Americans with tools and information they can use to plan for a secure future.
Older adults are still empowering themselves today:
- With increased longevity and better health, older Americans can work longer and bolster their later life economic security. A recent poll reported that 26 percent of those surveyed say they will retire beyond the age of 65. Working longer can mean saving more, building 401(k) and other pension accounts, and thereby having more when you do retire.
- Many people are in a position to defer claiming Social Security several years beyond their initial eligibility at 62 – and thereby significantly increase their benefit checks when they do collect. If you were , you receive 100 percent of your monthly benefit, but if you wait until at age 67, you’ll get 108 percent of the monthly benefit, and at 70 you’ll get 132 percent.
- Staying physically fit and maintaining cognitive strength can help you stay financially fit. Research shows that financial capability is one of the first abilities to decline as cognitive impairment encroaches. But the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation reports that physical exercise reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent, and women from age 40 to 60 who exercised regularly had a dramatic reduction in cognitive decline.
For younger people reading this, please take the time to an elder family member, neighbor or acquaintance and the history and wisdom garnered over a lifetime. Let’s keep reaching out year-round and not limit recognition to one month a year.