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AARP Partners with Charles Schwab

( AARP CEO Barry Rand rings the New York Stock Exchange bell with Carrie Schwab, January 31, 2011.)

Bells were ringing yesterday as AARP CEO Barry Rand kicked off our new relationship with Charles Schwab today at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Rand and Schwab senior vice president Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz rang the opening bell.

AARP members will get free financial consultations and access to educational seminars offered by Schwab and their 300 branches. There's also a dedicated 800 number set up just for AARP members, and today there will be a live chat here with Carrie Schwab and Jane Bryant Quinn (RSVP! It's at noon EST.)

"We're talking about financial security. Our members have said that's one of their biggest issues that they're not prepared for," Rand said after the ceremony. "The partnership is designed to help them get prepared through consultations, through planning exercise, if they choose to do that."

"We're really excited for this partnership ... this is really an extension of our purpose of making sure everyone is financially fit," added Schwab senior vice president Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz. "We're taking these two organizations that have similar missions-purpose of helping Americans--and we each got different strengths in the relationship. AARP has 40 million members, we have financial advice. We can combine those two expertise we can really make a big difference for Americans."

A recent survey by Schwab shows that there are massive gaps between financial information received and action among 50+ Americans. Sixty-seven percent say there need to know how to manage their finance successfully but only 10 percent say they're prepared for planning and saving for retirement.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • 47% of respondents say they are handling their financial future passively.
  • More than half (53%) think their most challenging financial issues are in their future.
  • Another 31% say they still have a lot to learn about managing their finances successfully; in fact, 55% say they have learned more from their mistakes than from their financial successes.
  • More than six in ten (61%) of those surveyed would prefer to have options/opinions tailored to their situation when it comes to seeking financial advice.
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