Female? Thinking of retiring? Think carefully and get out your calculators.
Financially secure retirement for women is a thing of the past.
One in four older single women lives below the poverty line.
The sad truth is that women simply don’t save enough for retirement, and the financial security they had as wives can quickly disappear.
According to CNBC (2016/03/18) 36% of unmarried women and 29% of married women think they need less than $250,000 for retirement. At the same time, the majority of men think they need $500,000 for retirement.
There’s a strong disconnect here. Women usually live longer than men, they earn less than men, and, when widowed or divorced, their spendable income is considerably less. How is it they are so naïve about the cost of living?
For women retired or nearing retirement, here are some critical facts to help explain this puzzle.
How has this worked for women in America?
Most of these women lived middle class lives when they were married. Even though couples have savings and investment plans, when she’s alone the income isn’t sufficient.
All of these facts mean a reduction in her retirement finances.
By the time she is alone, her options have narrowed. Her only choice may be to start a new job in retirement.
Many women and men are doing just that. A hobby may become a small business, some companies specialize in hiring retirees, and there are affordable franchises especially designed for seniors.
The big issue is that this shouldn’t be happening to women.
The rising cost of living eats into spendable income, but drawing out money from savings has negative consequences. The result could be something like the obituary that follows:
It is with regret that we inform you of the death of your financial assets.
Your extensive portfolio had been in ill health for quite some time. Though several experts in the field of money management had examined said assets, the diagnosis was unanimous. Terminal.
Your portfolio began life on May first, 1981, with a deposit of $100.00. It grew as a traditional IRA, receiving annual deposits of varying amounts until 2004. No deposits have been made since that year.
The company which held the IRA, No Holds Barred, has deposited the last $100.00 in a cash fund, to be collected by the holder of the IRA, Ms. Jane A Doe.
Of course, no such item would ever be posted, but the results are the same. Only one third of women over 65 are married. That leaves a lot of single older women living on the assets that two people accumulated. The interesting thing is that when a husband survives his wife, he has almost no financial problems.
Where can you go to learn how to save and manage your money?
Many financial websites now have information especially for women. Some of it is not specific as to individual needs and situations. However, it is a start.
Here is a short list to begin your research for a more complete and secure financial retirement.
Google keywords to find a variety of websites that address different aspects of the financial situation facing women. Look for articles and educational insights especially for women, subscribe to newsletters, and make note of the top financial issues. Whether you are now retired or thinking about it, the cost of living will not go down. Start now to get your ducks in a row now.
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