Interview Pg 2
Carla Fried - Jobs in Retirement
and Articles

We continue our discussion with Carla Fried of CBS on jobs in retirement and her articles.

4. How do you determine which topic should be addressed in your future article?

There’s no system other than I am constantly talking to people in the field, or reading their research, and that sparks an idea. I’d love to hear what your audience would be interested in my covering!

5. What is the most controversial article that you have written?

In the late 1990s I was the lead writer for Money magazine’s annual Best Places to Live special report. Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly popular with the regions at the bottom of the list.

6. What do your readers tell you about their plans for jobs in retirement? Do you see many that want retirement part time jobs?

I think right now for many people the issue is that they need to have jobs in retirement. Either their retirement savings took a big hit in the bear market, or they were banking on home equity that may be sharply lower now that the housing bubble is deflating. What’s interesting to me is that the natural assumption is that you must hold onto your current job longer. I think that may be the route for some

people. But what is more likely-and more enjoyable for many people-will be the realization that maybe you don’t need to work full time at a full-blown career type job into your 70s. If people step back and run the numbers, what they may realize is that having a part time job that replaces just some of their income is all that is needed. That changes the dynamic from “I have to work” to “Gee, I just need to bring in some income, so maybe I don’t have to stick with my career job and I can venture out and find something I am passionate about, or maybe I can make some money from a hobby.”

7. strives to help people looking for fulfillment whether they are searching for income or exploring other interests. We focus on individuals near retirement, but the ideas apply to all ages. What would you say to those younger readers?

Take advantage of the time you have. Invest now for retirement. The earlier you start saving the less of your money you have to tuck away to have a secure retirement. The greatest ally you have is the magic of compounding over decades. Take full advantage of it. And the more you have saved up earlier, the more flexibility you will have later in your career. What’s so hard right now is hearing from pre-retirees who are in a financial pinch and they know they need to keep earning a big salary at a stressful career. What if you made it to your 50s and knew your retirement savings were so solid you could begin to think about downshifting to less demanding work? That sounds like an ideal goal to me.

retired couple with pen and laptop

8. Over the past 5 - 10 years the internet has really changed the way we communicate as a society. How do you feel it will impact the way we plan for retirement, search for jobs in retirement and communicate with each other?

We all know there isn’t a question or calculation you can’t find answered online. No load fund companies such as Fidelity, T. Rowe Price and Vanguard all have terrific information and tools to help you manage your retirement assets.

But there’s one potential downside to technology when it comes to retirement planning. I believe less is more when it comes to managing your retirement funds. Determine a long-term allocation strategy and rebalance once a year. Don’t react to every zig and zag in the markets. It is a losing proposition. Dalbar does a sobering annual study that compares the performance of the markets with the performance of actual mutual fund investors. Investors earn a lot less. Chasing performance, trading too often, trying to outsmart the markets are all to blame. And that’s in part because it is so easy for us to act on our emotions, or impulses, or what someone said on TV five minutes ago. But that’s not how long-term wealth is amassed.

As for the communication part, well, that’s a mixed bag too. There’s no questions email and the social networking sites are terrific. But so too is calling up someone and actually talking. And I am still a big fan of sending a handwritten note. If that makes me old-fashioned, so be it. Taking the time to communicate is sometimes more important than how fast or efficient the communication may be.

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