Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Prudential. As always, all opinions are my own. See full disclosure policy here.
Alright ladies, it’s time to talk about something you’d rather not think about. You might feel like it’s too complicated, it makes you uncomfortable, or you’re just going to going to cross your fingers and hope for the best. Or, if you’re married, you might be hoping your husband is taking care of it. Yes, I’m talking about money.
Sooner or later, you’re going to be confronted with some inevitable realities, like retirement, your child’s going off to college, or maybe a layoff or medical situation that interrupts your family’s income. I’d rather be prepared than caught by surprise. I’m not saying that I didn’t come to this realization a little later than I should have though.
As a single mom for many years, finances were very tight. And, since the average woman working full-time earns just 79% of the income earned by her male counterparts1, this puts us women behind when it comes to paying into social security and the ability to save for retirement.
Women also aren’t investing to the same degree as men, we start investing later2, and we seem to take fewer risks. That means we often see lower returns and run out of money in retirement. We tend to live longer too3, so we must do better to make sure we are able to live comfortably in the last years of our lives.
I have been thinking more and more about retirement and finances as I get older, especially since I had a big birthday and my son graduated from college. As you might know, college tuition is going up all the time. My husband and I are trying to save for our retirement, but at the same time, want to contribute to my son’s education so he doesn’t take on too much student loan debt.
What’s the right balance of saving for ourselves and spending on our childrens’ education? These are the kinds of things a Prudential advisor can help you figure out.
And, what about life insurance? I hope all of you understand how important it is! If you or your husband passes away, not having life insurance can be devastating financially for the loved ones who are left behind. We have had life insurance almost since my husband and I were first married, but I know that most women are under insured. That’s definitely something we all should take a second look at.
And here’s something to keep in mind as you buy life insurance or review your current policy: Did you know on average, women in the U.S. spend 28 hours per week on household chores – 65 percent more than the average for men?4 That is uncompensated work, and most people don’t figure this into their financial planning. Prudential has created a tool called the “Value of all you do” that lets you very quickly quantify the value of all the household chores you do on a daily basis–what you would need to pay someone to do those chores for you. I encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful free tool!
I know we are all so busy with kids and homes and work, but our financial futures are way too important to keep putting off. Trust me, these wake up calls hit you, whether it’s your “babies” leaving home in what feels like the blink of an eye, or when you see that big college tuition bill, or you realize your 401K balance isn’t what you’d like it to be. Don’t let your future be decided for you, put yourself in charge. Take a little time out of your schedule now to meet with a Prudential advisor. Then you can get on with life, knowing you’re ready for those financial challenges we all face.
- Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables Table P-40: Women’s Earnings as a Percentage of Men’s Earnings by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2016
- Source: http://fortune.com/2016/05/11/sallie-krawcheck-ellevest-launch
- Source: Prudential Retirement analysis; National Center for Health Statistics, Health, United States, 2015: With Special Feature on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Hyattsville, MD. 2016
- Source: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, October 2016, http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=54757
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