Online Workshops Help Iowans Rethink Retirement Planning Due to COVID-19

September 29, 2020, 2:59 pm | Barb Wollan, Suzanne Bartholomae, Kalyn Cody

Couple in kitchen with laptop by Monkey Business/, Iowa – The COVID-19 pandemic is causing many Iowans to rethink when they will retire, whether sooner or later than they originally had planned. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is delivering educational online workshops that address both scenarios.

Rethinking Your Retirement during COVID-19

Due to constraints on businesses caused by COVID-19, some Iowans have been offered early retirement packages. Some may be considering early retirement due to job challenges, health concerns or other reasons. Still others have been forced into involuntary retirement, noted Barb Wollan, a human sciences specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. At the same time, the CARES Act has created temporary changes to some common rules related to retirement accounts, making it easier for people to withdraw from their retirement accounts during 2020.

“Many Iowans have questions about the decision to retire early or to withdraw retirement savings,” said Wollan, who specializes in family finance. Rethinking Your Retirement during COVID-19 is a new, 45-minute online workshop to help Iowans evaluate the benefits and consequences of the decision to retire early or withdraw retirement savings during this turbulent time.

The free workshop is available at noon or 5 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 1, with more dates likely through the fall. Pre-registration is required. Go to to find the registration link for the workshop you’d like to attend.

“We expect to schedule additional workshops, so continue to check the website for upcoming dates,” Wollan said.

Writing Your Retirement Paycheck

Iowans who anticipate retirement within the next 10 years should consider Writing Your Retirement Paycheck. This two-part online workshop outlines key factors to consider prior to retirement and describes strategies for planning your retirement income.

“Our workshop offers practical, research-based and non-commercial information to help you make the most of your money in retirement and be financially secure,” Wollan said.

Pre-registration is required. Go to to find the registration link for the two-part workshop you’d like to attend.

  • Monday, Oct. 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Monday, Oct. 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21, 12-2 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 28, 12-2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

For more information about the workshops, contact human sciences specialists Barb Wollan,, or Kalyn Cody,; go to or visit your ISU Extension and Outreach county office.

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