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You may think that saving for the future is something that can be put off because you’ve got years ahead of you, but you may want to think again. All those years of procrastinating might come back to haunt you, leaving you scrambling to work in order to have something when you do get ready for retirement. Savings matter because all of those accumulated years of putting back money can reap big rewards. As a woman, it’s especially important to have money for those uncertain times that happen in life.
As women, we always get messages about being independent, having our own money and going into business for ourselves, but it’s quite staggering how little we actually know about retirement and having a savings plan. I don’t mean simply having money in the bank, but investment plans that can actually grow accumulated wealth over time.
Don’t get me wrong, some women are on top of their finances and know where every penny is going, but ask any woman on the street or someone you know and the answer will usually be, “Oh, my husband handles our money”, or “That’s so boring.” Ladies! We know how to take care of business in every other aspect of our lives, but lets get a head start now and secure a brighter future so we can sit back, relax and our money take care of us!
Here are some facts you should know about retirement that you will be thankful you learned.
#1) Living Longer Doesn’t Necessarily Mean a Secure Future
It is a fact that women tend to outlive men and as much as 50% of women over the age of 85 are on some type of government program, such as social security and other aspects of monetary gain. While you may think the government will just take care of you, you will probably be surprised to know that over women are 50% more likely to live in poverty after retirement.
While the idea of continuing to work through retirement is feasible and many people do, it isn’t necessarily a secure option. You never know what the future holds and anything can thwart your plans to keep doing what you love. Not to sound like a Debbie Downer but people that are in their mature years aren’t likely to hold a job, especially here in the United States, so unless you own your own business, you’re better off saving up. Of course that doesn’t mean a life of golf courses and country clubs either. Retirement is simply doing what you love, no matter what it is.
A trip around the world, purchasing that beautiful beach house; many see retirement as a jail sentence when it’s actually the opposite. Life is about enjoyment. If you love what you do, then great. If not, why not save now?
#2) A Wise Woman Thinks About the Future
There are various reasons why women are less secured in meeting their financial goals than men. Anything from allowing your partner to take care of every dollar to shopping too much and not thinking your finances through can potentially set you up for failure in the long run.
There is no better time than now to start thinking about where you would like to be in your later years and how that will happen. One way of getting a head start is making yourself accountable for your spending habits and how it’s being spent. Mint.com offers a great way to keep track of your spending limits, with alerts and plans that will allow you to keep on top of your financial goals.
Learn all that you can. Most employers do offer some type of savings plan and will sometimes even match your taxes, which is always a good thing! Understanding how a 401(k) and IRA plan works will prove especially beneficial because you may be able to catch up on your finances, especially if you’re getting a late start with savings.
If you’d like to learn more about how retirement and savings plans work, WISERwomen.org offers a wealth of information to get you started.
#3) Ways to Get Started!
Getting a head start on your retirement plan is always best while you’re young and fully thriving at work, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late if you’ve already reached middle age. It’s easy to also forget about saving money. Let’s face it, we lead busy lives, we have children, parents, grandparents to take care of, college loans to pay off, mortgages, car notes and other factors of life that take up our brain space. For many of us, just getting through the day is enough.
You may have bills up to your eyes, but breathe for a minute. Think about the life you would like to live and how you can begin now, to incorporate that prospect into your future, even if you don’t really see it at the moment. If you like to spend money on items such as clothing, restaurants and even entertainment, these are aspects that may bring joy in the short term, but think about how much money you could save by not shopping so much or holding off on your Starbucks coffee during your morning commute.
Starting now is as simple as making these small changes as well as gaining as much knowledge as you can on the best retirement plan for you.
Debt is the amount of money owed to creditors, bill collectors and other costs that are deducted from your wage. If you have any school loans or other types of debt, then try to work out a plan with them so that you aren’t spending half of your check paying them off. Many school loan collectors will apply a forbearance so that you may pay them off later, keeping you in good standing so that your credit isn’t compromised.
Another rule to remember is to have a rainy day fund. This is imperative for those moments that you don’t see coming. A medical condition, a flat tire, a bill that you forgot about. Anything can come up an you will always want to be prepared for life’s mishaps.
Many Americans put off retirement age because it means that they have to think about getting old. A retirement time is your choice and although we all age, it’s better to do so with money in the bank.
Do you have a retirement plan? If not, what is the reason? There is no time like the present and anyone can save, even if it’s just a little. We’d like to hear your thoughts. Please share this article!