Seniors and Fiscal Responsibility

Seniors and Fiscal Responsibility
June 22, 2016 North Jersey Marketing

Ask Lourdes

Volume 4 Issue 5

Seniors and Fiscal Responsibility

By Lourdes Cortez

May 1st marked the start of Older Americans Month, a month dedicated to acknowledging the achievements and contributions of older adults living in our nation.  Older Americans, our role models, our grandparents, and our parents, are a significant portion of our population who have made great contributions to our society. They have also had beneficial impacts on our individual lives.  More specifically, our elders teach us about the trials and tribulations of life, and act as a support system that we look to for advice and guidance.

As older Americans age, we need to take it upon ourselves to return the same care, support, and guidance that was once given to us.  As a result, we want to make sure that our older Americans are in good health both physically and financially.  Today, the ability to aid your loved one in maintaining good financial health is made possible through various financial programs or resources.

With the creation of Older Americans Month, many people are able to understand the needs of our senior population.  As a result, Older Americans Month brought about the Older Americans Act (OAA) and the Administration on Aging, both of which are now significant forces in helping the senior community.

Furthermore, the proliferation of many organizations and agencies introduced the notion that caring for our seniors is critical to the health and well-being of our society. It has become a major focus for many agencies serving seniors in the importance of fiscal responsibility and planning for a long-term retirement.  We all know that financial planning should begin early in life since it directly affects retirement.  There are now many programs and

services that offer seniors the opportunity to plan and obtain financial freedom or learn short-term planning strategies.

For example, AARP is one of the key organizations that offers education and benefits for senior citizens, along with their families. AARP’s primary goal is to be a voice and a representative for individuals over the age of 50 in the areas of health care, employment, financial responsibility, and housing.  One of the most essential services of AARP is its financial offerings for members.  These include life insurance, college savings, investment services, banking, and credit cards.
In addition, AARP offers access to financial education specifically tailored to individuals over the age of 50.  The intent is to teach older Americans to make progress towards important financial goals.

Furthermore, AARP has amassed a significant amount of research to identify emerging issues among the older adult population.  Some of this research tells us that older Americans rely heavily on credit cards with 76% of the population having at least one.  Unfortunately, this often leads to high levels of debt, of which 44% consider credit card debt to be a problem.  Over 25% of individuals over the age of 50 have trouble with debt repayment.

These are clear indications that services are needed to help seniors enjoy their golden years, and not worry about debt or leaving debt to surviving family members.

The month of May is our reminder that we must continue to care for older Americans. Thus, we must support those organizations in our local communities with a special focus on helping our elders enjoy life with diginity while maintaining good fiscal health.


Lourdes Cortez began her professional banking career in 1984 as a representative at the North Jersey Federal Credit Union (North Jersey Federal).  After progressing through several positions, she became CEO in 2005. In the past 10 years, North Jersey Federal’s assets have steadily grown from $171 million to $233 million.  As the first Latina CEO of a major credit union in NJ, not only has Lourdes’ stewardship increased the assets of North Jersey Federal, but her commitment to giving back to the community has been tremendous. As CEO, Lourdes crystalized the credit union’s community involvement with the creation of the North Jersey Federal Credit Union Foundation. One example of the foundation’s work includes building the first student-run credit union in NJ. Other organizations that have received support from the foundation include Autism Radio, Boys & Girls Club, Boy and Girl Scouts, Eva’s Village and the Marines Care Organization.
Lourdes has been honored by NJ Biz magazine as one of the Best 50 Women in Business in NJ, the 2015 Brava Awards from SmartCEO and the 2015 CIANJ/Commerce Magazine Best Practices Awards, among other accolades.  Recently, Lourdes was appointed to the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.