Alert
Close

Dylan Talks! AARP exclusive interview and in-depth look at the American icon. Read now

Highlights

Open

Life Reimagined Renew Year

Contests and
Sweeps

$10,000 Life Reimagined Sweepstakes

Enter for a chance to win up to $10,000 to help make your dreams a reality. See rules

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Financial Regulatory Reform

Avoiding Bad Financial Advice

Do your homework and learn how new regulations can help protect you

At 51, Adela Pena decided to follow her financial adviser's advice and retire early from her job in inventory and warehousing at AT&T after nearly 30 years.

Slightly nervous, but convinced by her adviser's assurances that she would never run out of money, Pena collected $320,000 through a company buyout and by cashing in her 401(k) account and invested it in a variable annuity.

The arrangement started off well. Pena, who's now 63 and lives in San Jose, Calif., received a $2,300-a-month allowance from the annuity. Her total investment soon grew to $700,000, but the plan went downhill from there.

By 2007, when Pena switched to a new financial adviser, the value of the annuity had dropped to just $202,000. She reinvested the money in a new annuity, hoping to recover some of her losses and agreed to lower the amount she withdrew monthly to $1,700.

Within a year, however, the value of Pena's new annuity declined further to $49,000. Today, she subsists on her $1,892 monthly Social Security check and help from her children. Pena is now taking legal action against her initial adviser in hopes of recovering some of the money she lost.

"She made it sound like we were going to have money for the rest of our lives," says Pena, who says she gets depressed thinking about her lost savings. "It's inconceivable that someone can do that."

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Exclusive annuities for members from AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.