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  • Campaign for a Secure Retirement: March Blog Series #3

    What Working Women Need to Know

    As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we celebrate all the incredible accomplishments and contributions that women have made and continue to make in every area of life.  The working world is no exception.  Yet despite gains in education and employment, statistics still show that women are paid less, have less money in savings, and are ultimately more likely to experience poverty in old age.  While some barriers to financial security are systemic, other barriers result from simple inaction or lack of information.  Working women are busy women, but we can’t ignore our retirement planning.  We all want to live with dignity and security in our later years, but that doesn’t come without proper planning and saving right now.

    A great place to get started is by making sure you can answers some key questions about your own retirement plans, as well as any plans your spouse or partner may have.  WISER’s “Working Woman’s Retirement Plan Checklist” can get you started.  Understanding your Social Security benefit is also an important part of this process.  You can access your Social Security statement online by setting up an account at “my Social Security.” Getting an estimate of your future Social Security benefits can help you figure out how much more you will need to save in order to have enough income in retirement.

    Social Security ArchMany employers provide a variety of benefits that go beyond the two biggest — health care and retirement plans.  Additional benefits may include: life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, and flexible spending accounts.  In the changing world of do-it-yourself retirement, it’s up to you to know what your employer provides, and take advantage of those opportunities that can protect your financial future.  For tips and ideas about how to make the most of your company benefits, check out WISER’s brochure, “20 Ways to Take Advantage of Your Company Benefits Plan.”

    If you do not have retirement benefits through your employer, considering opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or learn about other ways to save and invest.  Our first blog in this series covers some of this information in more depth.  If you missed it, check it out now.

    Women also continue to be the primary caregivers, and many working women at some point in their lives may find themselves faced with having to reduce work hours or leave a job entirely in order to care for an aging parent or relative.  While there may not always be a choice to leave a job, it is important to do all you can to keep your own financial well-being on track while caring for someone else.  Use tools like www.benefitscheckup.org  to see if your care recipient is eligible for other benefits and services that can help cover some of their costs and service needs.  Engage other family members in the care planning process in an effort to share both the physical and financial responsibilities so that they are not all placed on any one single person.  For more tips and resources, download “Financial Steps for Caregivers: What You Need to Know about Protecting Your Money and Retirement.”

    Thank you for joining our Women’s History Month blog series.  Let’s all make a little history ourselves in the coming year by planning, saving and getting on track for a secure financial future!

     

    The “Campaign for a Secure Retirement:  Helping Millions of Americans Plan and Save for Retirement”  is a joint educational retirement campaign to encourage retirement planning and saving and to promote the online Social Security Statement, available through my Social Security, as an important retirement planning tool.  Campaign partners include the Social Security Administration, America Saves, American Savings Education Council, and WISER.  If your organization wants to help others understand the importance of saving for retirement, take our pledge

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    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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