There is a joke about women and retirement in which a mother turns to her child and says something along the lines of “after all I’ve done for you; I expect you to keep me in the style to which I plan to become accustomed when I’m old.” The quip may well make you chuckle, but the reality is that women and retirement is no laughing matter. In most families it is the woman who puts her career on hold to care for young children—which means she’s also putting her retirement savings on hold. Add to this the fact that women still earn only about 80% of what men earn AND the fact that women are expected to outlive their male counterparts by 5.2 years and what you get is a large portion of the female population that is woefully unprepared for retirement.
There was a time when women could expect their husbands to take care of them, but it’s time now for women to take charge of their own retirement. Even without the growing divorce rate emphasizing the need for individual rather than “family” retirement plans; the falling economy, rising health care prices, and growing need for long term care insurance make it all the more necessary for women to take responsibility for their own retirement funds.
Finances can be a daunting topic for women, and there are always excuses to put off planning for another day, says Dianne Webster in her article “What Women Need to Know About Retirement”, but women can’t afford to put it off any longer. Webster helps women take the bull by the horns by providing some good common-sense steps to help them get started with their retirement planning today.
Being in charge of your financial future is more important now than ever before. Women, don’t take chances with your golden years, start planning for your future now.