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As seniors wrestle with retirement options, online help saves the day

As seniors wrestle with retirement options, online help saves the day
As seniors wrestle with retirement options, online help saves the dayCenter for Senior Benefits

It's true: retirement security is the thing that weighs most heavily on the minds of millions of Americans. Those approaching the "golden years" want to be sure that their retirement years don't deflate like a lead balloon.

Today, insecurity is the watchword. The economic downturn has had the largely predictable effect of making more Americans more concerned about their retirement security. Years after the recession "officially ended," those concerns remain, according to a report from the TowersWatson consulting firm.

The report confirms that more than half of workers it surveyed said retirement income had become more important to them over the last few years, and that of workers age 50 or older, nearly four-fifths say they are concerned about their retirement security.

If the fall in interest paid on savings isn't debilitating enough, the most common concern among the soon-to-retire is cutbacks to employer-sponsored benefits, particularly to defined benefit programs (such as CSRS and FERS). These have been eroding in the private sector and even the target of numerous similar proposed reductions among government workplaces at all levels -- federal, state, and local.

Meanwhile, concern about the financial health of Social Security has caused employees to place even more emphasis on their own retirement savings through vehicles such as the TSP and 401(k) plans. Three fourths now say such plans are their primary means of saving for retirement, up from three-fifths in 2009. Also, three-fifths would be willing to sacrifice some of their current pay for a more generous retirement benefit. Older employees in particular "overwhelmingly value retirement benefits more highly than pay increases."

Many seniors and impending retirees are seeking information that can help them plan for a comfortable retirement are seeking help online.

One leading source for knowledgeable assistance is the Center for Senior Benefits, a place where experts in retirement and financial planning offer free advice on strategies for weathering the changing landscape.

Whether it's information about programs and benefits, or straight talk advice on preparing for the rocky days ahead, quality sources of counsel are now just a click away.

For more information, visit the Center at http://www.centerforseniorbenefits.com/