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    It’s National Save For Retirement Week! Today’s Topic: Managing Money in Retirement

    Friday, October 26th, 2012

    It’s National Save for Retirement Week 2012! A week dedicated to building knowledge and taking action toward securing your retirement. Each day this week we are going to look at a different contributing factor to retirement and help you increase your understanding of it so that you can take action and be prepared. Today we are looking at managing money in retirement.

    When it comes to preparing for retirement, the focus is typically on saving and increasing your assets until you are ready to retire. But building that nest egg is only part of the picture. Once you retire, you need to think about how you will spend and manage that money so that it lasts for the rest of your lifetime. This can be difficult, so it is worth putting in some time to learn about your options and think about what your strategy might be.

    Listen to our five-minute podcast, “What Income Will You Rely on in Retirement” to get a better understanding of the typical sources of retirement income, and what that income needs to support in your later years.

    Speaking of retirement income, as we talked about in our first blog of this series, Social Security is a vital source of income for women.  Deciding when to claim Social Security is a very important decision as you near retirement age; it can significantly impact how much your monthly benefit will be for the rest of your life. Check out the Social Security Administration’s online calculators to get estimates of what your benefit might be if you claim early, at full retirement age, or wait even longer. 

    Another great resource is this series of eleven retirement decision briefs published by the Society of Actuaries. Each focuses on a specific retirement-related decision area and offers key considerations. A sample of topics include When Should I Retire?, Designing a Monthly Paycheck for Retirement, and When Retirement Comes Too Soon.

    Annuities, which allow you to convert a lump sum of money into a lifetime income stream, might also be a good option for some people.  Learn more about them in WISER’s booklet, Making Your Money Last a Lifetime: Why You Need to Know About Annuities.

    Finally, widowhood is also an important issue for women since they are more likely than men to live alone at some point during their retirement years. Widowhood is usually associated with a sharp drop in income. Read through our Widow’s Checklist so that you know how to prepare for the possibility of widowhood, and check out some of our other resources on our Divorce & Widowhood webpage.

    Thanks for following us this week as we celebrated National Save for Retirement Week.  We hope the information we provided will encourage you to make saving for retirement a priority, not just for one week but throughout your life.  And if you have learned something useful, pass it on!  Let’s help each other get on track for a safe and secure retirement.

    WISER Celebrates America Saves Week!

    Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

    This week is America Saves Week. All over the country, individuals and organizations are using this week to rededicate themselves to saving and paying down debts. Many are worried about their retirement. These issues are especially important for single women. Women live longer and earn less than men; they are also more likely to remain single, to be widowed or divorced and vulnerable to poverty.

    For America Saves Week, WISER has new resources for women who are going through a divorce or who have been widowed. WISER’s guide, “Divorce and Retirement: Take Control of the Retirement Benefits,” helps women navigate the complicated world of dividing retirement benefits at divorce, while “WISER’s Report on Widowhood” offers financial tips for widows of all ages.

    Facing Divorce? Be Sure to Protect Your Finances

    Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

    In The Observer’s January 25, 2009 edition, an article entitled “Men become richer after divorce,” written by Amelia Hill, a social affairs correspondent, exposed truths regarding the financial well-being of divorced spouses who have children. In a study conducted by Stephen Jenkins, director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and chair of the Council of the International Association for Research on Income and Wealth, findings reveal a father’s income rose by one third after divorce, and a woman’s income fell by more than one fifth after divorce regardless of whether the female is a mother. In concordance with the findings, Ruth Smallacombe, a family consultant at Resolution and Family Law in Partnership (Flip) stated, “The general belief that men get fleeced by their divorces while women get richer and live off the proceeds has long been due for exposure as a pernicious myth.” While 27% of separated women are impoverished, less than 9% of separated men face this challenge. Women need to be prepared for the obstacles they may face after divorce. Remember, marriage is a shared partnership. To learn more about how to ensure that you receive your share of the marital property, read WISER’s newly published report entitled, “Divorce and Retirement: Take Control of Retirement Benefits.”

    New WISER Release: Divorce and Retirement: Take Control of Retirement Benefits

    Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

    The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) today released Divorce and Retirement: How to Take Control of Retirement Benefits, a short, commonsense guide on a complicated topic: splitting the financial assets — all of them — during a divorce. For hundreds of thousands of couples, this Valentine’s Day is only another reminder of the fraught financial reality that divorce presents.

    “Divorce is complicated enough without having to worry about retirement benefits,” says Cindy Hounsell, President of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement. “Our goal is to arm women against their biggest enemy, and it’s not the husband — it’s a lack of information.”
    Written by WISER staff, including D.C.-based divorce attorney and expert Anne E. Moss, Divorce and Retirement claims that what you don’t know — and don’t ask about — can and will hurt you in a divorce. WISER urges readers to get as much information as possible prior to the divorce because “it’s nearly impossible to go back to court and ask about a share of your ex-husband’s benefit that you learn about after the fact.”
    The booklet includes Moss’s “10 Ways to Avoid Losing the Pension During a Divorce,” — a harsh wakeup call to anyone who currently trusts her lawyer completely. As Moss says, “Ask your lawyer these questions!”

    Hounsell agrees. “Knowing what to ask your lawyer can save you from additional heartache during a divorce,” she says. “Trust no one — and never assume that your attorney is an expert on the many federal and state laws in place for splitting retirement benefits.”
    Because pension and retirement benefits are not automatically split in a divorce, they are often overlooked, and women especially can end up losing big. Divorce and Retirement reiterates the importance of these benefits and breaks down the legal jargon that usually accompanies information on marital property, negotiating an agreement, and getting a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). WISER also points readers to additional resources, such as AoA-funded Pension Rights Projects across the country, and fact sheets that go into further detail.
    “This booklet is not about getting more than your share, or getting back at your former spouse,” says Hounsell. “It’s about money — your money — and how to make sure an innocent oversight (or not-so-innocent) doesn’t prevent you from receiving extra help when you’ll probably need it most — in retirement.”

    Divorce and Retirement is available for free online at www.wiserwomen.org, or in hard copy for $4. Contact WISER at info@wiserwomen.org or call 202-393-5452 for more information.

    WISER

    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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