AARP Helps Seniors Stay Financially Healthy

A new Connecticut law will help people save money for the future. As part of NBC Connecticut’s Health and Wellness Festival, AARP is educating people on staying healthy financially and planning ahead. 

As the old saying goes, hard work pays off. However, it doesn’t always pay out in the future. 

“I retired at 62. I'm 68 now, yay!” said Marilan Watson. She is one of the thousands of people in Connecticut who worked until retirement but never thought about a 401K savings plan. 

AARP said the truth is most people don’t use a retirement savings plan, leaving a $7 trillion savings gap in the U.S. and 75-percent of people in Connecticut relying on Social Security. 

“We want to get those 600,000 people without a savings opportunity into the savings market,” John Erlingheuser, the advocacy director at AARP Connecticut, said. 

Erlingheuser said the solution is the new “Work and Save” program that will take effect in 2018. 

“It's out of sight, out of mind. As I said, people are 15 times more likely to do it if they can do it through the payroll. And we are talking about a small amount of money, you won't even miss it,” Erlingheuser said. 

People over 18 years old who are employed will now have access to a private Roth IRA to save pre-taxed money straight from their paycheck for retirement, even if their employer doesn’t offer a 401K program. 

“I think that's absolutely a good thing, I think everybody should save for the future,” Nicole Sziabowski said.

Sziabowski, an educator at Ace Cosmetology/Barber in downtown Hartford, said the program will be especially beneficial to people in her profession. 

“There are a lot of hair stylists who are renters and they kind of forget to start saving on their own,” Sziabowski said. 

People can get information on the new program from AARP at NBC Connecticut’s Health and Wellness Festival on Sunday, Oct. 23. The festival will be held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the XL Center in downtown Hartford. 

“The sooner you start saving , no matter how much it is, the better off you are,” said Erlingheuser.

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