Aerial view of flooding from Sandy
Aerial view of damage caused along the Connecticut shoreline by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. (Photo credit: Dannel Malloy / Flickr)

Saving for retirement pays off. If you deposit money into an IRA, its earnings can grow over time, and so can your nest egg.

James Finch is the director of finance for Branford, Connecticut. He says as cities and towns focus on the costs of rising seas and more extreme weather, they can take a similar approach.

“What if we started saving money: We’ll start with a million dollars,” he says. “And what if we start adding to that every year? And then what if we were able to invest it at a rate that could compound so that it grows faster?”

His town is doing just that through its new coastal resiliency fund. Finch says Branford put $1 million in to start with more to be added each year. Over time, the invested funds are expected to grow.

Then when it comes time to repair a flooded bridge, elevate houses, or improve stormwater drainage, the town can tap into those funds.

“This provides a vehicle for our community to put money aside and so it can grow for the long term,” Finch says, “just like any family would for funding their kids’ college or funding their retirement accounts.”

Finch says that for towns and cities that can afford to, it makes sense to start saving now for the future costs of climate change.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Jan Ellen Spiegel

Jan Ellen Spiegel is a long-time Connecticut-based journalist whose career has included radio, television, print, and digital reporting. She has won awards for her reporting on energy, environment, climate...