Encore Years

Virtual Q&A: What is AARP doing to help older adults financially during this pandemic?

Encore Years

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- AARP fought for and secured financial relief for older Americans and protected Social Security and Medicare for current and future generations through the recently passed CARES Act legislation that provides financial relief for Americans.  AARP CEO praised the administration and Congress for passing the CARES Act this week.  The Social Security Administration has also reassured older adults that social security checks will continue and will not be impacted by the coronavirus.

AARP has launched a new online platform — Community Connections — that allows anyone to organize and find local volunteer groups to help pick up groceries, provide financial assistance or lend emotional support to neighbors, friends and loved ones. These called “mutual aid” groups—help communities stay connected at a time when people must practice social distancing to stay safe. Additionally, the AARP Community Connections site can help those who are feeling isolated, depressed, overwhelmed or anxious — they can request a friendly call from an AARP volunteer. Requests for a friendly call can be made by calling: 888-281-0145 (toll-free) or via website:  https://aarpcommunityconnections.org

How should people do to keep their finances protected?

Take stock of what you currently have in terms of your savings and your spending patterns:  know what assets you have, and if you rely on withdrawals from your retirement account for your living expenses, think about your spending habits and opportunities to cut expenses wherever possible.

Be cautious of panic selling: selling locks in your losses and you have no opportunity to recoup them when the markets start to move up.

Be cautious of trying to time the market: Moving to cash might be a way to leave the markets for now, but inevitably, people will miss the eventual market recovery.  By the time they rejoin the markets, a fair amount of the recovery will be over – and there will be usually be fees for moving back, which just add to losses.

Don’t stop retirement savings contributions: a continued investment when the market is way down means that you buy more shares for the same amount.  When the market recovers, that means that an investor will have more shares that are climbing, which greatly accelerates the overall recovery of their portfolio.

Markets are not logical: emotion plays a big role in short-term market movements.  Recognize this and try not to panic.  This drop may not last all that long but the key is to keep focused on your long term savings strategies.

Consult your advisor: during these times, talk to your financial planner or retirement administrator about the best course of action. Many professionals have been through the ups and downs of the market and can provide experience and guidance based on your specific needs.

Where can people get more information?

AARP is holding weekly live Coronavirus Q & A on topics of concern.  The calls are on Thursdays at 1pm ET, and the call-in number is always the same: 855-274-9507.   

Please join the next call on April 2, where experts will address your questions related to managing your income, credit and retirement accounts, accessing Social Security services, the extension of the tax filing deadline, and the effects of the economic stimulus legislation.

Date: April 2

Time: 1pm ET (12 noon CT, 11am MT, 10am PT)

Call-in: 855-274-9507

AARP.org/coronavirus

AARP Michigan has also created a website specifically with Michigan related resources focused on: local health information, food assistance, unemployment benefits, and other matters Michiganders need to stay connected with.  Readers can access the page here:  https://states.aarp.org/michigan/health-food-help-coronavirus-covid-19-michigan

Additional Resources

AARP Community Connections:  888-281-0145 (toll-free) or via website:  https://aarpcommunityconnections.org

AARP Weekly Coronavirus Teletown Hall: Dial-in only:  855-274-9507.  

AARP Michigan Coronavirus Resources:  https://states.aarp.org/michigan/health-food-help-coronavirus-covid-19-michigan

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