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Seniors’ savings woes point to need for thoughtful policies, practices

The Globe should be commended for its Oct. 1 article “Low rates frustrate savers,” which gets at the untenable situation millions of older adults are facing.

Older adults have been disproportionately injured by the economic crisis, and financial planning and aging in place have been made all the more difficult, particularly for seniors of modest means. This problem illustrates the importance of renewed national commitment to strong defined benefit pension programs and retirement benefits, as well as continued support for strong Social Security and Medicare programs. We are all seniors in waiting, and we must be forward-thinking about policies and practices that will allow older adults to retire and live with dignity and economic security.

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Another key priority must be to empower older adults with financial education, so that they are not susceptible to predatory, exploitative practices from the financial services industry. Unfortunately, seniors are often targeted with products that are not right for them and that result in the subtraction of wealth rather than an enhancement of assets. Building financial literacy is a critical step to prevent this from happening.

John Taylor

President and CEO

National Community

Reinvestment Coalition

Washington

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