About the Beyond Today Blog

Welcome to the Beyond Today retirement blog. This blog is as much about you as it is us. This is a place where we start the conversation and you enhance it with your experiences.

It is also a place you will ask us questions on topics ranging from how to start a retirement plan to knowing how much is enough to retire. We’re fortunate to have Jean Chatzky joining the conversation in February 2011 to share her knowledge and insight gleaned from years of talking to others about their retirement strategy. We know you will love what she has to share.

Please feel free to email us the stories of your own retirement goals, dreams or expectations. Because at the end of the day, our goal is to address retirement topics that will help you achieve them.

Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC’s TODAY show, is an award-winning personal finance journalist, AARP’s personal finance ambassador, and a contributing editor to Fortune magazine. Jean is a best-selling author; her eighth and most recent book is Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security. She believes knowing how to manage our money is one of the most important life skills for people at every age and has made it her mission to help simplify money matters, increasing financial literacy both now and for the future. In April 2013 Jean launched Jean Chatzky’s Money School, a series of college-style, interactive online personal finances courses that give men and women across the country the opportunity to learn form and interact directly with her. Jean lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.

Karen H. Wimbish

Karen H. Wimbish

As the head of Retail Retirement for Wells Fargo, Karen H. Wimbish leads a team of more than 200 associates, all of whom are focused on helping people plan for and live a comfortable, achievable retirement. As a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and daughter, she brings a broad range of perspectives, experience, and empathy to women planning their retirements, and really looks forward to helping our blog readers succeed financially through education, communication and action. Karen is a proud mother and grandmother. She and her husband recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.

Laurie Nordquist

Laurie Nordquist

Laurie Nordquist is the executive vice president and director for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. As it is for many of you, her life is a balancing act, managing the multiple demands of family and career while trying to be a good friend, daughter, PTA member, and community volunteer, among other roles. And for the record, she wouldn’t change a thing. She believes that our experiences in life—the good, the bad, the memorable and even the forgettable—go a long way toward shaping who we are and how we view life. Given her career path, it’s no surprise that she has have a passion for planning for retirement, whether it’s streamlining finances at home to grow her family’s nest egg while simultaneously funding her kids’ education, or working on a strategy to help employees make the most of their 401(k). Laurie looks forward to sharing her perspectives and point-of-view with you not only about retirement but on a broad range of topics through her blog and invites you to join the dialog, sharing your insights, opinions and experiences.

Renee Brown

Renee Brown

Renee Brown is no stranger to meeting challenges head-on. Raised in the heart of Louisiana Cajun country, the Senior Vice President and Enterprise Social Media Leader at Wells Fargo has held numerous marketing leadership roles, including serving as Wachovia’s Director of Brand Management over the course of her 14 years with the company. As a manager she leads a team of more than 100 dispersed across the US. As a mom, and partner of 15 years to her 8-year-old daughter’s other mom, she finds herself drawing on many of the same budgeting, organizational and time management skills that enable effectiveness in the workplace. Renee brings her unique perspective to Beyond Today, addressing the challenges non-traditional families face from a societal, legal and financial perspective. She also talks about the issues that bind us, from the impact of women’s longer life expectancies on retirement planning, to managing conflicting financial priorities as parents, daughters, partners and spouses. And if we’re lucky, she may even share a gumbo recipe or two.

Chelsea Castner

Chelsea Castner

Chelsea Castner knows how important our 20s are for laying a foundation of values and guiding principles for life. That decade’s pivotal decisions can make us or break us. Maybe it was growing up on a farm in New Jersey with three brothers, but facing and talking about the “tough stuff” is in her blood. That attitude allowed her to tackle financial challenges of being single, sharing an NYC apartment with two roommates, balancing a social life, all while taking her career up a notch and planning for future goals. As a Brand Planner at New York-based marketing company Just Ask a Woman, she interviews hundreds of women across the country (in person and even on their cell phones while at the checkout counter) making her a go-to source when it comes to understanding women. Due to her strong curiosity to always know why, Chelsea created Just Ask Y, a think tank that helps Generation Y women grow to their full potential by examining new trends, forward thinking ideas and personal subjects. She looks forward to posting candid, proactive and practical advice that will help millennial women start building long term relationship with their finances.

Lisa Ardrey

Lisa Ardrey

It’s never easy for a highly organized, self-proclaimed control freak to embrace a way of life that demands a consistently high degree of flexibility and the occasional complete surrender to chaos. But, like most New Yorkers, Lisa Ardrey is nothing if not resilient. Born and raised in Flushing, N.Y., Lisa moved to Charlotte, N.C. where she began her career in finance. With 20 years of banking and investment experience behind her, she’s seen her share of mergers, acquisitions and break-ups—and they haven’t all been limited to her professional life. As a recently divorced working mother of two, Lisa speaks openly about the logistical, emotional and financial challenges of raising 10-year old Will, who was diagnosed with Autism as a toddler, while balancing the needs of 8-year-old Lily. According to Lisa, reaching out for and accepting help from others is critical to maintaining balance. In addition to support from family and friends, Lisa works closely with organizations including the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, the Autism Foundation of the Carolinas, and Kids First of the Carolinas, where she is both a volunteer and recipient of the services these organizations provide.

Natalie C. Blakeney

Natalie C. Blakeney

Natalie describes the fourth decade of her life with one word: TRANSITION. Being a 41-year old newlywed has brought two wonderful school-aged stepdaughters (and a new-found appreciation for sidewalk chalk), as well as the need to adjust to a new city in part of the country where she sometimes feels like a fish-out-of-water “Yankee.” All in all, she feels it’s made life more interesting. Follow her as she pursues her quest for work-life balance, financial security, and happiness in all its many forms.