— About 6 in 10 New Mexico residents who work in the private sector do not have access to a retirement savings plan through their employer. Last year the state legislature, with participation from AARP, set up a task force to devise a new way for private-sector employees to save for retirement. This fall the group submitted its recommendations to lawmakers, and the legislature is expected to consider a bill during the 2019 session. “The task force is proposing a hybrid …

— By Karen Ali Alexander Williams, owner of Blue Earth Compost Inc., in Hartford, loves the idea of legislation aimed at helping small businesses like his promote savings plans for retirement. “We’re always growing the business. So having help in how to implement this would be a step in the right direction,” said Williams, 27, whose company has three employees, with plans to hire more. Thanks to a new retirement security program, about 600,000 more employees in the state will be …

— By Linda H. Lamb Gov. Henry D. McMaster and state Rep. James E. Smith Jr., both born in Columbia but 20 years apart, took different paths to the Nov. 6 governor’s race. Republican McMaster, 71, a lawyer, served as attorney general and, as lieutenant governor, head of the state Office on Aging. Democrat Smith, 51, a lawyer and state representative, served in the military and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. While the legislature is the dominant …

— According to new research sponsored by AARP Oregon, Oregonians love Oregon Saves. OregonSaves is a Roth IRA program facilitated by the Oregon State Treasury for workers whose employers don’t offer a retirement plan. While the program began phasing in July 1, 2017, already more than 80 percent of Oregonians say they support OregonSaves. The study, conducted by DHM Research in Portland, also shows unusual bi-partisan support for the program. “I’m a pollster. I’m asking Oregonians questions about public policy matters all the …

— By Joanne Cleaver As a small-business owner, June Zahn wishes she could afford to provide a retirement savings plan for herself and her two employees at A Better Me spa in Menomonee Falls. “It would be great to be able to put money aside as a habit,” said Zahn, 52. Nearly 1 million private-sector workers in Wisconsin do not have access to a job-based savings plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b). That’s why AARP Wisconsin is urging legislative candidates …

— Across the country, millions of people are at risk of running out of savings after they retire, and Social Security alone isn’t enough to live on. In Wisconsin, the average benefits for a 65+ family is only about $20,000 per year, while older families on average spend $22,000 a year on food, utilities and health care alone. Part of the problem is that nearly half of American workers – including over 1 million Wisconsinites – have no way to save …

retirement savings

— Recently AARP South Carolina approached Dean Peter Brews, University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business about a feasibility study for a multi-employer retirement plan for South Carolina employees. This idea has worked well in other states where employees did not have access to a retirement plan through their employers. AARP South Carolina wanted to find out if this was a feasible plan for the Palmetto state and, if so, what it would cost based upon the projected participation. …

— At Tanioka’s Seafood and Catering in Waipahu, the line sometimes stretches out the door for their famous ahi limu poke, maki sushi and sashimi platters. The family owned business takes pride in its local roots, community service, quality food and the service-with-a-smile attitude of its 150 workers. Founder Mel Tanioka and daughter Jasmine Tanioka, the company’s chief financial officer, want to offer a 401(k), IRA or other retirement savings plan to their workers, but found the administrative costs too high …

— South Carolinians go to the polls this month to vote in primary elections for governor, lieutenant governor and other statewide offices. Do you know where the gubernatorial hopefuls stand on issues important to people 50 and older? AARP South Carolina hosted a forum in February attended by six of the eight candidates for governor. Questions included how to help more workers in the state save for retirement, how to keep utilities affordable and how to help more people age at …

piggy banks

— A new task force will study why many Wyoming employers find it difficult to offer their workers a way to save for retirement. More than 57 percent of private sector employees in the state—about 123,000 workers—do not have access to a retirement savings plan at work. As a result, more than half of workers 65 and older have little to no savings, and the state is saddled with safety-net costs for many who need nursing home care. The state spends …