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Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz In Conversation With Michelle Alberda

March 5, 2015

About 200 members and guests of FWSF, the Financial Planning Association, Society of California CPAs, the Association of Corporate Growth, and Schwab enjoyed a spirited discussion with Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz moderated by former FWSF President and financial planner extraordinaire Michelle Alberda.

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

Carrie discussed her passion for improving financial literacy, noting there are “no excuses, we have to take care of ourselves.” She wrote a book for baby boomers because so many Americans will be retiring over the next 20 years, and she wanted to provide answers to the dizzying array of financial questions plaguing those who are age fifty and older. She also noted that women too often are not involved in investment decisions and thus are unprepared, despite living longer in many instances. Her research confirmed common misconceptions, including that age 50 is too old to start saving for retirement, that it is best to start drawing social security benefits as soon as possible, and that equity positions should be sold upon retirement.

Interestingly, Carrie confided that she herself uses an investment advisor, despite being an experienced financial advisor, because she became too busy to keep on top of her investments. She noted that financial planning has been shown on average to improve results by 300 percent! In her experience, using a financial advisor also helps many people feel more secure, as she saw with her own mother.

Having raised three children, Carrie shared her approach to teaching them financial literacy. She taught her children how to manage money by providing allowances at a young age. She opened up bank accounts to encourage them to save money, actually taking them to the bank so they would not be intimidated by the institutions. When each was only 12 years old, Carrie arranged for her children to meet with a financial consultant. Each received a credit card at 16 years of age, but only to pay for an emergency, and she found that her children used the cards responsibly.

Carrie also answered questions about common financial challenges from Michelle and the audience. Retirement savings should come before paying for children’s college costs. The younger we start saving some of our income for retirement, the less the percentage we need to save. While fixed investments are not providing large returns currently, balancing your portfolio reduces risk. Her new book, “The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances After Fifty” – which all attendees took home with them – provides more detailed guidance on myriad topics.

FWSF thanks Carrie, Michelle, Schwab and its co-sponsors for this inspirational and exciting program! 

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