Another resource you should tap into is mymoney.gov, a U.S. government website dedicated to financial literacy and education that provides free information, resources, publications, financial calculators, checklists, budgeting worksheets and more to help you make informed decisions.
You also can call 888-696-6639 and order a free “My Money” tool kit that includes a variety of publications on saving, investing and getting the most for your money.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Labor, is another agency that offers a variety of publications, including the 62-page booklet “Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning” and “Women and Retirement Savings” brochure.
You can see them online at www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications or call 866-444-3272 and have them mailed to you for free.
Also visit choosetosave.org, a website developed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute that offers the Ballpark Estimate retirement planning worksheet, more than 100 online calculators, brochures, savings tips and links to resources to help you manage your finances.
· Social Security help: You also need to get up to speed on Social Security. To help with this, the Social Security Administration has an online resource specifically designed for women that covers how marriage, divorce, widowhood, work, caregiving and other life or career events can affect your benefits.
It also offers information on SSI, Medicare benefits and provides calculators to help you figure out your future earnings at different retirement ages. You can access this information at ssa.gov/women, or call 800-772-1213 and order their free pamphlet titled “What Every Woman Should Know.”
· Financial advice: If you need some hands-on help, consider getting a financial assessment or tune-up with a fee-only financial advisor. Costs for these services will vary from around $150 to $300 per hour, but it can be very beneficial to help you set-up a retirement plan you can follow.
See napfa.org or garrettplanningnetwork.com to locate an advisor in your area.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.