A woman in her late fifties was referred to me because she had just gone through a divorce and she was looking for a new advisor for advice.
By all outward appearances, Sandra (not her real name) was a confident woman who had done quite well running her own property management company.
But when she started talking to me about her retirement savings, fear and doubt suddenly came over her. She worried about running out of money in retirement when she would be too old to work.
The thought of not having enough money to live on in retirement is a fear that plagues mature women. You may have heard the term, Bag Lady Syndrome, which is the fear of becoming poor and homeless in retirement. The interesting thing about this fear is that it plagues even high income earning women (those who make $200,000+), according to an Allianz study on Women, Money and Power.
However, when you look at the reality of the financial challenges women face in retirement, it’s obvious that these fears are validated.
For instance, according to a USA Today article, women account for eighty percent of those living to age one hundred. For every ten centenarians, eight of them are women. It also stated that of those men and women who do survive to age 100, women are more likely than men to be living in a nursing home.
One of the top money fears women have about retirement is the inability to continue their lifestyle comfortably. The thought of having to move to a nursing home is unsettling for various reasons.
One way for women to get motivated to take charge and plan for a secure retirement is to take heed and listen to what studies are telling us:
- 62% of women whish they have saved more, and 55% wish they had begun saving earlier.
- 53% of baby boomer women are concerned about out living their sources of retirement income.
- For those born in 1950, life expectancy for women was 5.5 years more than for men.
- 49% of women over the age of 75 live alone.
- 74% of women agree that they do not know as much as they should about retirement investing.
- Women are less confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement.
- 28% of Baby boomer women don’t think they can afford to retire.
Ladies, don’t let your lack of confidence with money hold you back from taking the next step to securing your own financial wellbeing for your retirement years. You are not alone in feeling ill-equipped to handle finances. Studies show that most women feel this way.
Consider what the Allianz study (2013) reveals about women who take the initiative and work with a financial professional:
- 77% felt more confident and prepared for their financial future.
- 72% felt more independent and self-sufficient.
- 45% were more likely to teach their kids about finances.
So my question to you is what’s one thing you can do today to start creating your own retirement security?
In my recent blog post, Women & Retirement: How to Reduce Financial Fears, I share three tips and five great articles for you to start increasing your financial literacy and reduce your fears. Make it a habit to take advantage of resources like these.
As the Nike slogan says, Just do it.
Even if you don’t know a lot about finances. Even if dealing with money scares you. Do it afraid. I know you can. I believe in YOU!
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