Listen up Ladies! It’s Time to Talk Finances.

Pinnacle Personnel Services, LLC  |  Debbie Hatch

Back in the day, men handled the family finances. I don’t think we’re surprised to hear that.

Can I tell you something that might surprise you, though?  Many women, even in 2018, have left the financial planning to their spouse/partner.  In my line of work, as a retirement counselor, I’ve heard countless stories about women who have been left to figure things out after a spouse died.  They had no idea where to even begin.

 

Ladies – today it’s time to open your eyes.  I recently participated in the Health is Wellness Online Summit.  Here are some sobering numbers that were shared:

 

  • Women are 27% more likely than men to have no retirement savings. 1

 

  • More than 70% of nursing home residents are women this fact carries significant financial implication. 2

 

  • 40% of women age 65 or older are widows. 3

 

  • The average age of widowhood is 56. 4

 

  • On average, a woman spends 12 years in various unpaid caregiving roles; resulting in a financial loss estimated to be more than $320,000. 5

 

  • 64% of baby boomer women, don’t have a backup plan if they are forced into early retirement. 6

 

  • 29% plan to rely solely on Social Security. 7

 

  • Estimates show that lifetime health care costs for a 65-year-old woman living to 89 will be $314,673, on average, compared to $267,395 for men. 8

 

If this doesn’t make you realize you need to plan for retirement, I don’t know what will.  Where should you start?

First, be aware.  Knowing there’s a problem is the first step to making plans for correcting it.  We make plenty of plans for our children’s futures.  We plan vacations and work projects.  We plan to finish school, get that degree/certification, and excel at our chosen profession.  We don’t do such a good job of planning for retirement.  Start by determining your personal needs.  How old are you?  How much longer do you plan to work?  What’s your plan for healthcare, over the long-term?  How much have you saved for retirement?  What’s your plan for housing as you get older? What things are you going to need?  What if your partner passes away?  Spend some time really thinking about these things!  Jot down some notes.  Talk to friends and loved one.  Talk with a financial planner when you’re ready but do some prep work first.

 

From the Fidelity Money Fit Women Study.

 

Next, make an accounting of what you currently have available.  Savings?  Checking?  Investments?  Property?  Social Security?

 

If you need X and you have Y, what is the concrete plan for making up the difference? 

 

Small, incremental steps can make a big difference but you have to take those steps consistently.  Cut back here or there.  When you get a promotion, save at least half of the pay increase.  Save a couple dollars wherever you can, and THEN (this part is important) put that money into your retirement account.  At least twice a year, review your progress.  Are you closing that gap?

 

Citings:

  1. Elyssa Kirkham. GoBankingRates. March 14, 2016. www.gobankingrates.com/retirement/1-3-americans-o-saved-retirement
  2. Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley. Center for American Progress. April 12, 2016.  www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2016/04/12/135260/the-top-10-facts-about-the-gender-wage-gap.
  3. Richard Eisenberg. July 1, 2014.  www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/07/01/who-are-americans-65-and-older?#a4b4cfd3fdb4.
  4. Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. 2015.  www.idfpr.com/finlit101/retirement/widow.asp
  5. Family Caregiver Alliance. February 2015.  www.caregiver.org/women-and-caregiving-facts-and-figures.
  6. TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies. March 1, 2016.  www.transamericacenter.org/docs/default-source/women-and-retirement-tcrs2016_pr_womens_retirement_outlook.pdf
  7. TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies. March 1, 2016.  www.transamericacenter.org/docs/default-source/women-and-retirement-tcrs2016_pr_womens_retirement_outlook.pdf
  8. HeathView. The High Cost of Living Longer:  Women and Retirement Health Care.  2016.  http://www.hvsfinancial.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Women_Retirement_Health_Care.pdf

Don’t want to miss a post? Sign up for the Newsletter and be the first to read new posts.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

You May Also Enjoy

October Newsletter: 2021 Federal Benefits Annual Open Season

Since the calendar now shows 17 October, evidently September is gone.  Happy (belated) New Year to my contracting and finance friends.  I spent last month in Maine with my daughter and three of my grandchildren.  It was great to be around family and also see the foliage I’ve missed for the past 25 years.  Pictures

Read More »

If “This” is Important, Why Am I Not Already Doing It?

Pinnacle Personnel Services, LLC  |  Debbie Hatch This title is not intended to be a throw back to the trite “if it’s important, you’ll always find a way” fitspo quote.  I don’t believe in that, personally.  There’s so much that’s important, it can be overwhelming.  Life happens.  There are things we can’t control.  I selected

Read More »

Here’s What’s Up with Federal Benefits in July

Pinnacle Personnel Services LLC  |  Debbie Hatch   This year has been so odd.  It seems like it’s flying by – it’s July! – but it also feels like it’s already lasted for ten years already.  Just me? REMINDER:  taxes are due on the 15th.  If you haven’t done them yet (hello, mirror) you may

Read More »