You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Retirement planning resources for women
The Savvy SeniorApril 24, 2013 | 2,753 views | Post a comment
Dear Savvy Senior,
What retirement planning resources can you recommend to women? I’m 58 years old, divorced and living on a tight budget and need all the help I can get.
When it comes to planning for retirement, most Americans could stand to brush up on their financial knowledge a bit, but it’s especially important for unmarried women. Here’s what you should know.
It’s an unfortunate reality that most unmarried women -- whether they’re divorced, widowed or never married -- face much greater financial challenges than men in retirement.
Why? Because women tend to make less money (about 78 cents for every dollar a man makes) and have shorter working careers (due to raising children and/or caring for aging parents) than men. And less money earned usually translates into less money saved and a lower Social Security benefit when you retire.
In addition, women also live an average of five years longer than men, which requires their retirement income to stretch farther. And, according to studies, women tend to be less knowledgeable and more intimidated about financial issues than men, which means they don’t always handle their money as well as they should.
Because of these issues, it’s very important that women educate themselves on financial matters. Listed below are some good resources that can help.
A good place to start is with the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, a nonprofit organization dedicated to financial education for women. At wiserwomen.org you can read and download for free a wide variety of easy-to-understand publications on retirement planning, money management, saving and investing, as well as Social Security, health care, annuities, and more. If you don’t have a computer or Internet access you can call 202-393-5452 and order hard copies of their publications and have them mailed to you for a few dollars.
Another resource you should tap into is mymoney.gov, a U.S. government website dedicated to financial literacy and education that provides free information, resources, publications, financial calculators, checklists, budgeting worksheets and more, to help you make informed decisions. You can also call 1-888-696-6639 and order a free “My Money” tool kit that includes a variety of publications on saving, investing and getting the most for your money.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Labor is another agency that offers a variety of publications including the 62-page booklet Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning, and Women and Retirement Savings brochure. You can see them online at www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications, or call 1-866-444-3272 and have them mailed to you for free.
Also visit choosetosave.org, a website developed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute that offers the Ballpark Estimate retirement planning worksheet, more than 100 online calculators, brochures, savings tips, and links to resources to help you manage your finances.
Social Security Help
You also need to get up to speed on Social Security. To help with this, the Social Security Administration has an online resource specifically designed for women that covers how marriage, divorce, widowhood, work, caregiving, and other life or career events can affect your benefits. It also offers information on SSI, Medicare benefits, and provides calculators to help you figure out your future earnings at different retirement ages. You can access this information at ssa.gov/women, or call 1-800-772-1213 and order their free pamphlet entitled What Every Woman Should Know.
If you need some hands-on help, consider getting a financial assessment or tune-up with a fee-only financial advisor. Costs for these services will vary from around $150 to $300 per hour, but it can be very beneficial to help you set-up a retirement plan you can follow. See napfa.org or garrettplanningnetwork.com to locate an advisor in your area.
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC “Today” show and author of The Savvy Senior book. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Adopt-a-pet at Deason’s Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Bark For Life is Dec. 6 (November 25, 2015)
Beverage set (November 25, 2015)
Christmas Along the Corridor Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
El Rancho de Las Cabras, then and now (November 25, 2015)
Father Leopold Gala is Dec. 6 (November 25, 2015)
Get to know La Vernia at Wassail Walk (November 25, 2015)
Hear Christmas cantata (November 25, 2015)
Learn about bats at Jack’s Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Take part in Dec. 5 Christmas Parade (November 25, 2015)
Three Oaks Christmas party Dec. 4 (November 25, 2015)
Tour holiday homes in Seguin (November 25, 2015)
Yulefest in Seguin Dec. 6 (November 25, 2015)
‘La Mafia’ to headline Floresville’s annual Holiday Extravaganza (November 25, 2015)
‘Little white church’ takes its place in local history (November 25, 2015)
‘Texas Family Tradition’ to perform (November 25, 2015)
And the winner is...Texas Balloon Spectacular Photo Contest Results (November 18, 2015)
Art League plans free public reception (November 18, 2015)
Chorus presents ‘Showstoppers’ Nov. 21 (November 18, 2015)
El Mesias church welcomes new pastor (November 18, 2015)
Perez visits with Catholic leaders (November 18, 2015)
See snow and lights in Cuero (November 18, 2015)
Shop Traildrivers Craft Show (November 18, 2015)
Study skins, skulls, scat at Nature Park (November 18, 2015)
Thanksgiving Feast in Sutherland Springs (November 18, 2015)
Turkey dinner in St. Hedwig (November 18, 2015)
UIW’s ‘Light the Way’ (November 18, 2015)
Wilson County Courthouse records of 1874 (November 18, 2015)
Wreath-decorating registration deadline (November 18, 2015)
‘Joy of Cooking’ (November 18, 2015)
A life pieced together in love (November 11, 2015)
Acoustic to Rock studio to open (November 11, 2015)
Advent Fest, Craft Show in Elmendorf (November 11, 2015)
Antique level (November 11, 2015)
Area residents graduate from WGU Texas (November 11, 2015)
Atascosa County Craft Show (November 11, 2015)
Comal show celebrates 17 years (November 11, 2015)
Enjoy Farm Day at Mission San Juan (November 11, 2015)
Find crafts, treasures in St. Hedwig (November 11, 2015)
Master Gardeners Rummage, Bake Sale (November 11, 2015)
Never say ‘never’ (November 11, 2015)
Register for Dec. 5 Wassail Hustle (November 11, 2015)
Register for free women’s retreat (November 11, 2015)
Talent galore planned for Nov. 14 show (November 11, 2015)
Tickets available for FISD Gatsby Gala (November 11, 2015)
Tickets on sale for museum banquet (November 11, 2015)
Tickets on sale for SA Stock Show & Rodeo concerts (November 11, 2015)
Tickets on sale now to see Grammy award winners (November 11, 2015)
Windland wins program cover design contest (November 11, 2015)
DAR honors ancestors (November 4, 2015)
East Central FFA Farmer’s Market (November 4, 2015)
Enjoy Chihuahua Trail Art Show (November 4, 2015)
Enjoy puppet show at Magik Theatre (November 4, 2015)
Get tickets now for St. Ann 50th jubilee (November 4, 2015)
Get your tickets for TLU Christmas Vespers (November 4, 2015)
Go batty in Marion Nov. 10 (November 4, 2015)
Go Nuts Contest winners (November 4, 2015)
Go nutty at Pecan Jubilee Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
Hear Fiddle Festival in Burton (November 4, 2015)
LVHS Theatre Arts presents ‘Almost, Maine’ (November 4, 2015)
Once a Year is here! (November 4, 2015)
See ‘King of the Wild Frontier’ (November 4, 2015)
Successful Homecoming in Panna Maria (November 4, 2015)
Tiny houses, big dreams (November 4, 2015)
VFW announces winners (November 4, 2015)
WCRSP promotes new program to superintendents (November 4, 2015)
Wildcats barbecue fund-raiser (November 4, 2015)
Wilson County’s Got Talent is Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
'Happy Face' mug (November 4, 2015)