On average, women live approximately seven years longer than men. But very often women never provide for themselves sufficiently to have enough money to live on, and being financially secure during those extra years.
Most women are up against more and different financial challenges than men. On average, they unfortunately still don’t earn as much as men do, and chances are that they are more likely to take time off during their careers to raise children. Furthermore, women tend to invest less than men do.
All this results in financial difficulties and hardship for many women later in life.
1. Most married women leave financial matters to their husbands. So, if you are married, don’t leave the financial planning to your husband alone. Because marriage should be a 50/50, or win-win situation anyway you must always stay involved as an equal.
As I already mentioned in a previous article that I wrote, never give control over your money to someone else! I can’t stress this enough. I’ve have seen people go down financially before my very eyes because of this fatal mistake. Lucky for one person that she’s my own mother! At least me and other family members can support her, because my father doesn’t.
She left all the finances in the hands of my father that unfortunately didn’t know the very first thing about controlling and handling money. He had absolutely no money management skills whatsoever.
And then they separated after 30 years and the financial downward spiral started.
If you’re not involved in your day-to-day family finances, you’re putting yourself at risk.
So if you’re married and you let your spouse handle all the financial matters, you’re at risk if your spouse dies or becomes seriously ill or if you divorce. Know the details of your family’s finances, investments, debts, retirement savings, etc. Discuss your savings options with your husband and learn your financial options.
Don’t turn your investments and financial affairs over to a broker or financial consultant either without keeping track of what is being done with your money and being involved in investment decisions. Never give control of your money to anyone else. NEVER!!!
By the rule of thumb men should save 10% of your gross income each year. Women however, should save at least 15%. This is to account for their longer life expectancy and the loss of salaries many women face when they raise their children.
Now I know that for many women 15% is a lot of money. It all boils down to money management again. To gain wealth and financial freedom, you should always “pay yourself first” and then live on what’s left and not spend first and save what’s left at the end of the month.
The The great Henry Ford once said:
“You don’t get rich by that what you earn. You get rich by what you don’t spend.”
If you’re a home-mom with only your husband working, you can open up a spousal IRA in your name. Your husband can contribute to it and you’ll both have more money during retirement.
2. Make sure that you have enough investments. Now I don’t necessarily mean stocks, options, futures or commodities. Depending on your knowledge about the stock market, these may not be suitable for you ‘cos they do bear certain risks. What I mean is having policies like mutual funds or life insurance to cover at least five years of income.
80 – 90% of all investments should be invested in secure and long-term policies!
Half of all marriages end in divorce, and three quarters of all women are eventually widowed. Good investment policies can also account for an unexpected illness or accident that can impair your finances. If your employer doesn’t offer it, obtain individual coverage youself. What is also a good idea is to have up to 3 monthly salaries stashed in your bank account that you can get hold of quickly…just in case!
3. Never cash in on retirement funds! To many people end up cashing in their retirement fund balances (whether it’s a 401 (k) or any other retirement plan) when they change jobs.
Still others take out loans against their balances, permanently reducing the amount of earnings they would have accumulated.
If you want to accumulate wealth, tax-deferred retirement plans like 401(k) plans are a great way to do it, but resist the urge to tap those funds before retirement ‘cos that’s not the idea of a retirement plan!
Also people that emigrate into another country cash in their retirement balance and wast it for things like the move, the flight into the new country, new furniture or a new car ‘cos the old one wasn’t worth taking along anymore, etc.
That’s not the idea of a retirement plan either! If you change countries you should know 2 things:
– Is it temporary…
– or it it permanently?
If it’s temporary, then leave your money where it is and let it grow earning interest.
If it’s permanently, then you can cash in whatever you’ve accumulated so far and reinvest it in another retirement plan in the country you’re now living in.
And if you have an even better idea…great! Well done! As long as you don’t squander you retirement plan flushing it down the drain!
All the best!