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Workshops to help lab workers make decisions

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By Special to the Monitor

In the wake of the reduction in force at LANL, many employees and contractors are wondering if they can successfully retire.Zia Credit Union and Charles Stephen and Company are co-sponsoring a pair of workshops to help separating lab workers answer this question and more. The workshops will be from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday and Dec. 3, in the Zia Credit Union training room, 1001 Central Ave. Call Charles Stephen at 888-884-0451 to register.“We recognize that decision-time is short for the hundreds of lab workers affected by the recent layoff,” said Jeannene Garcia, vice president of operations at Zia Credit Union. “They have to make decisions in just a few days that can affect them for the next 30 or 40 years.”Zia counts many of the affected employees as credit union members, but even those who are not members are welcome to attend, Garcia said. And, if space is available, you can attend even if you are not affected by the layoff, she added. But space goes first to those affected.The workshops will present a variety of computer-generated scenarios to help attendees understand their options and the outcome of their decisions, said Stephen Ciepiela, president of Charles Stephen and Company, an Albuquerque-based financial planning firm.Ciepiela said that new generation software can help employees make the best decisions even up against tight deadlines. The focus now is on “sequence of returns,” another way of saying that your retirement plan should concentrate on getting you what you need when you need it, he said.“The big question for many people when making retirement decisions is ‘how do I know when I have enough to retire?’” Ciepiela said. “Now, with our software, we can help answer that question with more accuracy than before.”