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Finances 50+

Finances 50+ Workshops Help Spread Financial Smarts

Classes teach older adults to make tough choices and set achievable goals

Success stories from AARP Foundation Finances 50+ program workshops

After Stephen Guild facilitated the AARP Foundation Finances 50+ program, a series of financial capability workshops co-developed with the Charles Schwab Foundation, he experienced a profound loss – and he couldn’t be happier about it.

The three 90-minute sessions (which are currently available in 13 states and offered in English, Spanish and Chinese) inspired Stephen, 72, to invest in a personal trainer and a gym membership. The former university administrator subsequently dropped 10 pounds, lowered his cholesterol and reduced his “borderline diabetic” glucose levels.

Stephen Guild resolved to change his life after he answered a “big question” that he had also posed to participants of the workshop: When you think about your life, what is it that would make you feel more fulfilled?

Stephen’s top priority was improving his health. “I don’t think that people see [preventive health] as a financial decision,” he said recently from his home in Seattle.

To pay for the gym membership and personal trainer, Stephen skipped a reunion of fellow Peace Corps volunteers who had served with him in Sierra Leone in the 1960s. “I really wanted to go to that, but I couldn’t do both. I couldn’t pay for my health, the gym fee, and go to my reunion. I had to make a choice.”

Stephen credits the Finances 50+ workshops – akin to a free financial checkup – for prompting participants to focus on making difficult spending decisions and set achievable goals. “If you want to see your grandchildren in Maine three times per year, for instance, you are going to have to plan that out in some way,” he said, “and that may mean you don’t go to Bingo. Some people, they’ve never thought that way.”

Next page: James's struggle with credit card debt. »

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AARP Tax Aide

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

This program offers free assistance with tax-return preparation. Go

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AARP Benefits QuickLink

See if you qualify for public assistance and you can save money on health care, medication, food, utilities, and more! Go

AARP Foundation Finances 50+

Finances 50+

This financial capability program is a collaboration between AARP Foundation and Charles Schwab Foundation. Go

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Housing Solutions Center

This program offers free HUD-certified counseling and assistance to 50-plus homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure. Go

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Back to Work 50+

We are partnering with workforce services providers to strengthen the bridge between 50+ job candidates and respected employers. Read

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Finances, Desire to Work Keeping Seniors in the Workforce

(The Intelligencer, May 2014) The number of workers 65 and older rose 3 percent between 2010 and 2013, while the number of younger workers under 50 years old fell, according to a recent Gallup poll. Read

Are Boomers Confident About Retirement Saving? Survey Says No.

(Marketwatch, April 2013) - A new survey by the Insured Retirement Institute notes a marked drop in the last two years in boomers' confidence that they are saving enough for retirement. Read