You probably know that women have a longer life expectancy than men, but did you know that there are 105 males born for every 100 females to compensate? Women have a longer retirement than men, so start to plan for it.
While women get to enjoy a few more years of life, they also have a number of special considerations to factor into planning for retirement. All things considered, the average woman has a longer retirement than the average man.
Women also tend to invest more conservatively, leading to lower returns on their sings. So overall, they have longer retirements and typically have fewer assets at retirement. A longer retirement isn’t troubling on its own. There’s more time to pursue things that might have put off. What makes it risky is that many women aren’t financially prepared for the years that lie ahead.
What’s more troubling is that many women don’t retire early by choice. Many become caregivers for an aging spouse or parent and many others simply lose their jobs, according to Forbes. Retirement planning isn’t solely the domain of men or couples. Women need to approach it vigorously too.
Here are a few retirement planning tips for women who want to live longer and prosper.
No matter how young you are, it’s never too soon to start planning for retirement. According to a Glacier study, only 9% of women aged 22 to 33 years are saving 10% or more of their income. In contrast, more than 25% of men in the same age group save at the same rate.
In the Glacier study, men earned more money, which is not surprising. But waiting for the right income level can shave years off your retirement savings potential. No matter what you earn, and no matter how little you can save, begin now. You can always increase the percentage when you earn more.
Debt is a huge burden that many women carry. Student loan debt is a big one – even for older workers. But the faster you can pay off debt, the sooner you can direct that money toward retirement savings.
The longer you can put off retirement, the more money you’ll have to save and the less time you’ll have to rely on your savings. There are a lot of retirement years to plan for, and unlike men, women tend to reach retirement without a solid plan. You can change all of that by starting today.
What if you live a very long time, outlive your partner, travel or decide to make a big life change?
Your savings is the most important thing you can do to secure the future. No matter where you work, how much you earn or how many years you have left until retirement, you can take control and chart a better course than the one you might be on.
How are you planning for retirement? Do you save a part of your income regardless of how much you earn? Have you thought about how you would manage different unexpected scenarios?
Here are some of the most common mistakes parents make, and how you can avoid them.
Whether you call it a temptation or a trap, many parents talk themselves into believing that their kids should have what their friends or peers have. This mistake probably goes back to our childhoods. If we grew up having less than other kids, or feeling that we did, then we don’t want it to happen to our children. That’s a large part of why we work so hard to succeed.
Is this a value we want our children to have? Do we want them to have that sense of entitlement – “I should have what he has”. “I’ve got to keep up with the Joneses”? Of course, we don’t. I am not saying that your kids can’t have anything: I’m talking about balance. The main problem with the syndrome “keeping up with the Joneses” is that there’s no cut-off point. Once you’re in that mindset, nothing is ever enough.
The solution: Stop and think. Why am I considering buying this for my kids? Will it help them do better in school? Will it add to their cultural enrichment? Will it help them develop skills that they need? Or will it jack up their snob-appeal quotient? There’s nothing wrong with having nice things. But when kids get things without realising the amount of money they cost – and therefore the amount of hours worked to earn them – there is a value disconnect that can start a cycle of wanting and getting more and more without ever really being satisfied.
One of the things that get parents into so much trouble is the idea that you have to shield your kids from the harsh realities of money. So many parents tell me, “We don’t want to take their childhood away”.
I’ve heard of similar problems from people who grew up in households that were relatively comfortable. You just didn’t talk about money. You didn’t ask how much things cost. Polite people simply don’t discuss it.”
Anything that involves money, and exchange of value, can be used as a learning tool. For instance, if your kids are looking at the check at a restaurant, explain what the tax is and how to calculate it. You can also show your young ones how to compute a tip and why you leave one. Talk about the economics of being a waiter or waitress, and how the tip is a significant part of their income.
If you haven’t explained yet about tipping to your teenagers, you need to. Shielding your children from the cost of things can keep them from getting a good start on their own.
The biggest financial danger to older teenagers – Varsity students especially – is the credit card. The teenagers to whom the credit card is the most serious risk are the ones who suffer from a value disconnect. They don’t connect things with the money it costs to buy them; they don’t connect money with the work hours it takes to it. When you spend money that you don’t have to buy on things that your teenager wants – or even something that your teen needs – you may be thinking, like Scarlett O’Hara, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” In real life, the message you’re sending to your teenager is that you can buy things without worrying about paying for them, and this is just about the worst message you can send.
Most of us, for one reason or another grow up being secretive about money, and that’s part of the story here. The other part relates to value disconnect. If you can hide it from someone, it didn’t really happen.
You know you don’t want your kids to learn lessons of deception. And you don’t want to put them in a position of conspiring with one parent against the other. Be honest with your spouse about money, especially when it comes to your kids
Do your kids constantly hit you up for R20 here and a R100 there? Are they going back and forth between you and your partner, maybe without you even being aware of that? This drip, drip, drip of money an easily happen. Eventually, you will have to say, “No.” It’s not pleasant, but its real life. There is not the Good Money Fairy out there that will keep doling out the dough.
Don’t beat yourself up for making any of these mistakes. And as George Bernard Shaw said, “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”