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  • Archive for February, 2012

    Boosting Your Retirement Income With A Second Career

    Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

    As women are becoming WISER about their retirement savings, the benefits of working longer and retiring later are growing, and more women are taking advantage of them. We live longer on average these days, and so retiring at a later age still gives most people plenty of time to enjoy many good years of R&R. More importantly, your golden years can be improved by the increase in Social Security money that you earn by putting off retirement, because the longer you put into the system, the more you will get out of it.

    Both out of choice and necessity, older Americans are working. The Washington Post recently reported that “more people older than 55 are employed than ever before.” And more retirees are looking for ways to get back into the workforce. If you’re one of them, Civic Ventures, a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose, offers a program called Encore Fellowships. These fellowships are offered in seven states, carry a small stipend, and give retirees the chance to use their skills during a full-time or part-time commitment at a nonprofit, which can perhaps segway into an “encore career.” The New York Times also recently reported on a company called ReServe, which matches people 55 and older with non-profits that can really benefit from their past experience.

    Entrepreneurship is also a growing trend among those looking to go back to work or transition into new kinds of work later in life. If that sounds like you, consider starting a business that can offer services to the older population. Since many people looking to start an encore career are likely to have already been through a number of challenges facing the older population they can sympathize more easily with these specific challenges, and their firsthand experience may make them supremely qualified consultants on a whole host of issues, from chronic illness coaching and moving services to memoir writing for those who wish to document their lives.

    More and more companies catering to second careers are popping up to meet the increasing demand, as more retirees realize that they have plenty of working years left in them to give back and increase their retirement savings. So while retiring as soon as possible may sound appealing, working longer may literally pay off. For more information check out WISER’s Simple Guide, What Everyone Needs to Know About Money and Retirement and What Every Woman Needs To Know And Do: The New Retirement Journey.

    Love Means Never Having to Say I’m Sorry…

    Monday, February 13th, 2012

    That I Left You Broke and Penniless

    Many modern day couples look quite different from past decades, highlighted by the fact that 30 percent of women are now earning more than their husbands. This step towards financial equality has not, however, changed one traditional role; men still remain largely in charge of the family’s finances. 63 percent of women still do not have any knowledge of the family’s investments or long-term financial planning, leaving all of their retirement funds in the hands of their partner. So this Valentine’s Day, give the gift that really says “I love you”: financial security.

    While women are the ones who tend to pay the bills and manage the family’s day-to-day budget, they are still taking a hands-off approach with their investments, leaving that very important financial responsibility to their husbands. Many women have no idea how their retirement funds are being invested and how much money these funds are gaining or losing in any given month, or what they are entitled to if anything should happen to their spouse or their marriage. A third of women who become widowed are younger than age 60, and half of all women who will become widowed become so by age 65. For many women, the road to poverty begins after their husbands pass away. As women age, they become more vulnerable to poverty. Nearly a third of single women over age 75 are living in poverty on less than $890 a month. Many women also do not realize that a divorce does not automatically entitle them to part of their husband’s pensions. If you have taken years out of the labor force to raise children or care for family members, this could leave you in a terrible financial situation. The average woman can see her standard of living drop as much as 30 percent after a divorce.

    This Valentine’s Day, give the gift of financial security by spending some quality time with your loved one going over your family finances, and vow to remain involved from this point forward. These decisions will impact both of you and so you should be equally involved in the decision-making process.

    For information on how to manage your retirement, check out WISER’s What Today’s Woman Needs to Know and Do: The New Retirement Journey. For more information on how to keep your retirement secure in the face of divorce or widowhood, please visit our website and factsheets.


    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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