Press Release: It’s Never Too Late or Too Early to Start Planning for Retirement!

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Arkansas Psychologists Offer Tips to Save for Retirement

Contact       Kristin J. Addison-Brown, PhD                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Telephone  870-203-6085                                                               October 29, 2015
Email          Neaneuropsych@gmail.com
Website      www.arpapsych.org
Blog           www.arpapsych.com

Little Rock, Arkansas, October 27, 2015— It is never too late, or too early, to start planning for retirement. Many people underestimate how much they can or should be saving, and often even postpone saving for retirement because it seems far into the future.

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) most recent Stress in America™ survey found that 44 percent of Americans reported saving for retirement as a very or somewhat significant source of money-related stress. Workers can conquer this fear by thinking about what they’re saving for, and how much they will need for living expenses during retirement.

According to 2014 ArPA President, Patricia Griffen, PhD, many baby boomers are unprepared for retirement and will not get to experience what should be the ‘golden years’ of their life. It is always advisable to start early, but many have not. However, she adds that it is never too late to develop a plan.

October 18-24 was National Save for Retirement Week. This week provides an opportunity for people to reflect on their personal financial situation and evaluate savings strategies and goals. To that end, Arkansas psychologists offer tips to better save for retirement:

Make saving a priority. If you receive a regular pay check, set aside some amount of money for retirement or unexpected expenses like car repairs or health emergencies. It doesn’t have to be a large amount, it just needs to be something. Even starting with $5 per week can help build a habit of saving. Over time you can increase the amount according to your income.

Identify financial stressors and make a plan. Take stock of your financial situation and what causes you to stress over money. Write down specific ways to reduce expenses and save more. Then commit to a specific plan and review it regularly. Although this can be anxiety-provoking in the short term, putting things down on paper and committing to a plan can reduce stress over time. For example, if you pack your lunch four days each week, you could save $40 per week, and more than $2000 per year extra that can go into savings. Also, the one day you eat out each week might feel more like a treat.

Make it easy on yourself. Use automated systems as much as possible. Arrange to have a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited into your savings or retirement account. It’s a lot easier to save when you don’t have to think about it. You can set up automatic transfers into your savings accounts when you get paid or on a predetermined day of the week or month at most banks.

Take advantage of employer contribution match. Many companies offer to match retirement contributions up to a certain percentage of an employee’s salary. By taking advantage of this benefit, you can double your retirement investment. If you don’t, you’re effectively turning down free money.

Find alternate sources of income. For those who are not financially prepared, if health permits, Dr. Griffen suggests consideration of extending employment. This trend is known as “bridge employment”, or “encore work”.

Part-time employment can allow additional time to make plans to transition into retirement both financially and emotionally. This can supplement one’s financial portfolio and provides an opportunity to be actively involved. Says Griffen, “it is not uncommon these days for employees to work into their 80’s with mental and health benefits, as well as financial.”

Talk to an expert. Just like people schedule an annual checkup with their doctor or meeting with their accountant, make an appointment with a financial planner to talk about your savings goals. A financial planner can help you devise a savings plan. Dr. Griffen explains, “Individuals are living longer and will need the sustainability of their retirement portfolio for an extended period of time. Consultation with a certified financial planner is highly recommended to develop a plan to sustain economic well-being throughout retirement.”

Finally, Dr. Griffen adds, “As one plans financially for retirement, it is equally important to plan emotionally”. If you are overwhelmed by stress, talk to a psychologist who can help address the emotions behind financial worries and to develop an “emotional plan” for retirement.

To learn more about stress and mind/body health, visit the American Psychological Association at www.apa.org/helpcenter and follow @APAHelpCenter. To find out more about Arkansas Psychological Association visit www.arpapsych.org or www.arpapsych.com and follow @ArPAPsych.

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Founded in 1949, the Arkansas Psychological Association is a statewide, non-for-profit, professional organization whose purpose is to advance psychology as a science, a profession, and a means of promoting human welfare in a challenging and changing world.

Our members represent the most well-trained, highly-credentialed, and clinically-experienced mental healthcare professionals in Arkansas. Our members are actively involved in providing psychological services in private practices, hospitals, and community mental health centers. Others teach in undergraduate and graduate academic programs, conduct cutting-edge research, serve in administrative positions for human service programs, and dedicate countless hours as committee members and chairs of various boards on the state, national, and international level.

In all these settings, ARPA and its members are committed to expanding the parameters of psychology in Arkansas and @increasing the quality of psychological services within our communities. In an effort to promote the mental and emotional well-being of individuals, families, and society at large, we strive to serve both the public and our membership through educational opportunities, workplace training, networking, and professional development.

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The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes more than 122,500 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Kristin J. Addison-Brown, PhD at 870-203-6085 or email neaneuropsych@gmail.com.