Seniors & Technology: A Perfect Match For Retirement?

  
It’s time to drop the cliché that older generations don’t know what they’re doing with today’s technology.
In fact, it’s changing the way most retirees are living, says Edward Sota, partner at Safeguard Investment Advisory Group, LLC, (www.safeguardinvestment.com).
Today, nearly 60 percent of those 65 and older are active online, according to Pew Research Center. That’s a drastic increase from 14 percent in the year 2000. And, the online participation of older adults is sure to increase even more as smartphones, tablets and social media continue to influence our culture.
“Online technology is so prevalent today, and gadgets are increasingly user-friendly, that it’s no surprise more retirees are using the vast amount of opportunities online,” Sota says. “There are multiple dynamics to technology that positively affect finances during retirement.”
Sota says there are several ways seniors benefit from today’s technology.
• Working from home has never been easier. More than 13 million Americans telecommute at least part of the work week, according to the latest census data. For seniors who want a taste of the retirement lifestyle – avoiding rush hour, etc. – while putting their skills to use for a paycheck, this is an excellent option. Depending on circumstances, extending one’s career may be a necessity. 

• Stay young with your gadget. Tablets, iPads and smartphones are keeping seniors four to eight years younger, suggests a new study from the journal Intelligence. The cognitive ability of people 50 and older today is found to be significantly better than people of the same age group and education levels a decade ago. The common differentiating factor is the increased use of technology. 

• Twitter and Skype – a senior’s best friend? Twitter is just one example that offers a community for just about anything you can think of – including advice on retirement or contact with thought leaders in multiple fields. Twitter offers interaction on various ideas for those without many friends. With Skype, you can stay in touch with distant family members and old friends.

• Apps and online content can track and inform your retirement money. Some good apps to track your retirement money include CNNMoney Portfolio, SigFig Investment Optimizer and USA TODAY Money Portfolio Tracker – all free. And there are an endless amount of resources to help educate you on general principles for retirement savings.
“Today’s technology enables retirees to be more self-directed and educated on their own money, which can only benefit them,” Sota says.
About Edward Sota
Edward Sota is the president and co-founder of Safeguard Financial Services, Inc., and a partner at Safeguard Investment Advisory Group, LLC (www.safeguardinvestment.com). Edward’s more than 20-year consulting career has helped families with financial planning, wealth management, life insurance, and long-term care insurance as well as advanced estate planning.

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