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Get advice on how to start saving for retirement

By Lynn Denison
Rowan Public Library
Discovering that I am not alone in starting late on a retirement plan is of some, but not much, cold comfort.
It seems that a number of us boomers have some catching up to do before we can think of living a life of leisure, if that happens to be our plan for the future.
Through many varied circumstances, some beyond our control, we find that keeping ourselves clothed, housed and fed, not to mention maintaining health insurance, is far beyond the capacity of our nest eggs.
As usual, when faced with a situation that calls for research, I head straight for our library shelves and find a plethora of materials on my subject of choice.
For a quick overview of where, financially, we are now, and how we got here, Suze Orman’s “2009 Action Plan” is the perfect place to start. This book is primarily based on plain and simple common sense and contains prudent and solid recommendations.
Although no advice is given which we haven’t heard before, the restating of the obvious has new urgency in today’s unsettling financial times. One of Orman’s sobering quotes is, “I want to make sure that you are up to speed on the fact that you may not be able to tap your credit card or a home equity line of credit to pay your family’s bills in the event that you are laid off. Lenders are not in the lending mood these days. I cannot be more emphatic: You must have savings set aside to be truly safe in 2009.”
Jonathan D. Pond, a financial expert on PBS, has written a readable, upbeat and reassuring book for the baby boomer generation on planning for the future. “You Can Do It! The Boomer’s Guide to a Great Retirement” gives practical checklists to help the reader with Pond’s five key points to achieving an enjoyable retirement: living beneath your means, investing your savings wisely, eliminating debt, preventing financial disruptions and staying active and maintaining your health. Once again, this is not new advice, yet it is extremely timely for all soon-to-be retirees.
“The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life,” by Lee Eisenberg, is another wakeup call to preparing for retirement. Although written by a journalist and editor rather than a financial guru, it is a thoroughly researched book and is written in an easy-to-understand and remarkably entertaining style. If a book on finance can be called “funny as heck,” this one lives up to that sobriquet. To quote reviewer Brent Green, “This is the right book at exactly the right time as roughly 8,000 boomers are turning 60 every single day for the next nineteen years.”
Finally, two other books with tantalizing titles that you may want to explore are “Start Late, Finish Rich: A No-fail Plan for Achieving Financial Freedom at Any Age,” by David Bach and “Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to Planning Your Financial Future,” by Fred Brock. Check out these and other great resources at your nearest branch of Rowan Public Library.
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters ó Monday, 7 p.m., Introduction to Career Library; Thursday, 2:30 p.m., Open Office Up Close-Calc.
South ó April 27, 7 p.m., Intermediate Excel.
Children’s Storytime: February-April, weekly story time. For more information, call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters ó Monday or Wednesday, 11 a.m., Tiny Tots and Moms (infants-18 months); Tuesday, 10 a.m., Toddlers and Kinfolks (18-24 months), and 11 a.m., Toddlers and Kinfolks (24-36 months); Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Three through Five; 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4-8 years).
South ó Monday, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3-5 years), 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4-8 years); Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Toddlers and Twos (12-36 months); Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Baby Time (0-12 months).
East ó Tuesday or Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Preschool (2-5 years); Thursday, 11 a.m., Baby Time (6 months-2 years).
Teen program: South, Tuesday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.; East, Thursday, 5:30-7 p.m.; Headquarters, April 27, 5:30-7 p.m. Come to Rowan Public Library for a day of recycled crafts. Make picture frames out of old CDs and DVDs to created an altered book ó let imagination be your guide.
Tuesday Night at the Movies: All movies are at 6:30 p.m. All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13; some movies are inappropriate for younger audiences. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
April movies have Rowan connections.
Tuesday, “College Swing”; April 28, “High Society.”
Displays: Headquarters ó artwork by Delores Medlin, history room by RPL; South ó student art show by South Rowan High School art class; East ó 4-H.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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