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  • Archive for May, 2010

    Speak Up! Tell an Important Female in Your Life about the Importance of Making Your Money Last a Lifetime

    Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

    In honor of Older Americans Month, Wider Opportunities for Women is hosting their second annual Blog Day. This year’s topic: “America’s Budget Matters (So Does Yours).” We encourage you to share your personal stories on the importance of programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid along with any tips or advice you have to offer on making your money stretch throughout retirement. Leave a comment on our blog or check out WOW’s blog to learn more!

    As women, we can generally expect to live longer than our male counterparts. In fact, women’s life expectancy is now 81.4 years, while men’s is 75.5 years of age. If we want to be able to enjoy our retirement years, one of the biggest requirements is getting a hold on our household budgets and making sure our money will last as long as we do.

    There are other reasons women especially need to be aware of properly managing their finances.  Sixty-six percent of the 65.7 million caregivers in the U.S. are female. This means there are more than 43 million women who are currently providing care for others on a regular basis. If you are not currently providing care to a child, older relative, or dependant, odds are that you will face this situation at some point in your lifetime. Caregiving responsibilities seep into other aspects of life, namely, a caregiver’s ability to work as much as (s)he wants or needs to.  Less time for work can also mean fewer opportunities for promotions and less time for accumulation of retirement plan savings. This means women have to be even more diligent about managing their finances and being aware of how much they will need for retirement! Check out WISER’s special report to learn more on keeping your sources of retirement income in order while caring for others.

    More time spent caregiving also means that Social Security is extremely important for women who had less time to accumulate other forms of retirement savings. Without Social Security benefits, more than HALF of older women alive today would be in poverty. Social Security is also important because it is a progressive benefit, meaning those who earn less and need the benefit more, receive a higher percentage than higher earners. Understanding your individual Social Security statement will further help you estimate your income in retirement and determine how much money you will need to supplement your Social Security benefits later in life. It is important to understand what these benefits will mean for you and your loved ones as you begin planning to retire. WISER’s Financial Planning Workbook dedicates an entire section to explaining the Social Security process and breaking down what this can mean for you and your financial future.

    Lastly, but most importantly, take time to be proactive about your future! Start now by looking at how you are spending and saving your money using some of the helpful budgeting and financial management tools we have linked to above. Also in the name of Older American’s Month remember how much knowledge and guidance our elders can provide for us and have a conversation with your mother, daughter, sister, aunt, or friend about how important it is to save for retirement and plan for your financial future. It’s never too early to start planning for your financial future in order to make your money last a lifetime.


    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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