I asked my husband Jeff Masters (a financial advisor) to share on money because so many of my friends have been caught off guard financially in the season of life over fifty. Below are some points to consider:
It is a harsh truth that many women either leave money matters to the men in their lives or ignore the importance of Financial Planning altogether. Couple this with the fact that women face different challenges and financial risks than men, and it becomes clear why women must take charge of planning their financial futures.
Women worry with good reason: They outlive men. At age 60, a man has a life expectancy of 19 years, but a woman has a life expectancy of 24 years. Those 5 extra years of life will be expensive, and they will come when you may have the least ability to make good decisions. According to the National Center for Women and Retirement Research, as many as 9 out of 10 women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives. Here are some statistics that we should be alert to:
* Over 75% of women are widowed at and average age of 56, and 1 in 4 of these women are broke within 2 months of being widowed
* Less than 15% of women who are married feel responsible for planning their retirement.
* 87% of poverty stricken elderly Americans are women.
Knowing How to Handle Your Finances is a Necessity
Women need to be educated and prepared. Understanding your finances now can help prevent money crises later. Read an investment book, take a class, go to an investment club, or ask other competent woman how they got their knowledge and acumen.
Get Involved in Your Family’s Finances
As a couple, spend time every week discussing the family finances and make it a routine. Understand and record what is going on with your investments, banking, and budgeting. Discuss and Write Down your financial goals, most people find it difficult to save or invest without specific reasons & goals.
Women – plan your financial life as if you will be on your own someday
Manage your finances together, but make sure that your name appears on all investment accounts, and bank accounts. Be sure to have your own retirement account, even if you are a stay-at-home mother you can have the family budget contribute to your retirement.
Get Good Advice
Get Professional advice before you become suddenly single. This will make your financial road smoother and will prepare you prior to these live events. A good financial advisor will educated both spouses of the overall plan, helping a woman to have understanding and ownership along the way. A good planner will have the heart of an educator . . . if they don’t then keep shopping for one that does.
Above all don’t Worry
We are called to be faithful, not successful . . . you can only do the best you can do, so don’t worry. But take initiative, work hard, and be industrious about acquiring knowledge and understanding. No matter what age you are, there is great benefit to developing a financial plan. Learning about finances doesn’t have to be difficult or complex, but it is critical to your stewardship to seek out understanding.