MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — Since moving into the Reata Glen senior living community last year in Mission Viejo, 74-year-old Marion Yerxa pays more attention than ever to her budget, given the ups and downs of inflation.
“We go to the grocery store and we see eggs, and at some stores, they are in the $8 range," she said.
What You Need To Know
- The “Wizards of Wall Street” is a club for seniors in the Reata Glen community
- Co-chair Jeff Zakaryan says the club started four years ago as a casual meetup to discuss stocks and current events but quickly grew
- A recent study from the National Council on Aging found that 80% of Americans over the age of 60 (47 million) don’t have the money to cover a financial shock or long-term support
Yerxa and her husband live on a fixed income consisting of social security and pensions. She says they are constantly aware of how that can impact their ability to deal with life’s surprises.
“And as we get older, we have illnesses,” she said. “We get significant life changes that occur, and it’s areas that we never prepare for. We’re prepared for raising families, for having successful careers, but we didn’t spend much time in really thinking about how do we manage our final years.”
Even with years of management experience and an MBA, Yerxa is constantly learning how to manage their money, worried about outliving it. So she started attending a club called the “Wizards of Wall Street” with other seniors in the Reata Glen community.
Co-chair Jeff Zakaryan says the club started four years ago as a casual meetup to discuss stocks and current events but quickly grew into a large monthly gathering, with experts dispensing financial advice to seniors, advice that may be particularly helpful for those who lost partners.
“Our generation, like it or not like it, the men tended to handle the investment part of their finances, and the women tended to handle the budgeting, the planning, the bill paying,” he said.
Doris Morrissey, 82, who attends the monthly meetings, had a similar arrangement. But after her husband, John, who was an original member of the group, passed away, she was at a loss on how to manage their finances, even with her experience as a certified public accountant.
“Even with my background, I am trying very hard to learn more about investments. I’m learning all the time,” she said.
A recent study from the National Council on Aging found that 80% of Americans over the age of 60 (47 million) don’t have the money to cover a financial shock or long-term support. Zakaryan says he hopes older adults everywhere will take their long-term financial security seriously so can enjoy the last chapter of their lives, stress-free.
While Yerxa works toward securing her own financial future, she hopes to pass on a portfolio of investments to her family.
“So that is our gift to our kids and their kids,” she said.