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You're Not Alone

As you begin to better understand the issues affecting your retirement, you will likely want to reach out for help. The most convenient and comfortable place to find assistance will typically be the warm environment of your friends and family. When you get beyond that small circle, you can also find help with establishing, monitoring, and achieving your goals through other reference sources as well as paid professionals. The key to working outside your comfort zone is being able to trust the source or sources you come into contact with.

The Internet most certainly offers a wide variety of both resources and information, but you need to be selective. Trust only sources you can verify and be mindful of those who are a little too willing to offer up advice tied directly to a product and not necessarily the solution to achieving your goal. To harness the power of the Internet requires discipline because so much information is available online.

A tremendous source for both pre- and postretirement is the AARP. Founded in 1958 by retired California educator Ethel Percy Andrus, the AARP represents the interests and needs of those over the age of 50. While membership in this nonprofit organization may be limited to those 50 and over, the Web site at www.aarp.org offers considerable information that can be used by anyone interested in life as a senior citizen. The site offers some basic retirement planning tools and loads of information on healthcare, Social Security, and much more. Today the AARP has over 35 million members, over half of whom are still working.

I'm also proud of the work being done by a coalition of nonprofit organizations that have embraced a concept that I came up with in 2001 called National Retirement Planning Week. Each year, the organization grows and the message gets out to more and more consumers on the importance of funding their retirement. For more information on National Retirement Planning Week, go to www.retireonyourterms.org.

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